IBM Focuses on Fraud Fight in z16 Mainframe Launch

New mainframe brings together AI inferencing, via its Telum Processor (which was unveiled last year), with the firm’s transaction processing.

Stopping fraud is firmly on the agenda as IBM has unleashed its z16 mainframe with an integrated on-chip AI accelerator.

IBM says z16 brings together AI inferencing, via its Telum Processor (which was unveiled last year), with the firm’s transaction processing. As mentioned in 2021, IBM wanted to help in combatting fraud – and was pitching Telum as moving “from a fraud detection posture to a fraud prevention posture”.

In today’s (5 April) announcement, the new z16 mainframe is specifically designed to “help protect against near-future threats that might be used to crack today’s encryption technologies”.

The company sees action amongst banks, which will need to analyse fraud during transactions. It says IBM z16 can process 300 billion inference requests per day with one millisecond of latency. The tech firm points out that for both merchants and card issuers, this could mean a reduction in revenue loss as consumers could avoid frustration associated with false declines where they might turn to other cards for future transactions.

IBM also mentions other threats – including tax fraud and organised retail theft, which are emerging as challenges for governments and businesses to control. The company reckons real-time payments and alternative payment methods like cryptocurrencies are “pushing the limits on traditional fraud detection techniques”.

The mainframe – a successor to z15 launched in 2019 – is underpinned by lattice-based cryptography, with secure boot (meaning that bad actors cannot inject malware into the boot process to take over the system during startup).

In terms of open-source technology, the tech titan explains that its zSystems platform offers a “common developer experience” across the hybrid cloud. For example, it has brought data science platform Anaconda to Linux on Z to demonstrate this.

IBM z16 will be generally available on 31 May 2022.

In other news, last month HSBC said it will work with IBM as it seeks to explore applications for quantum computing in financial services.

As part of the three-year agreement, HSBC will join the IBM Quantum Accelerator program, giving it access to IBM’s premium plan of quantum computing systems, including its recently announced 127-qubit processor, Eagle. The bank will also use IBM to help validate potential quantum use cases.

Image of z16 courtesy of IBM.

Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton is the Editor of eWeek UK. He has 18 years' journalism and writing experience. His career has taken him to China, Japan and the UK - covering tech, fintech and business. Follow on Twitter @TonyFintech.

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