International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), the No. 2 computer maker, introduced its most powerful server for enterprises, the zEnterprise EC 12 mainframe, which it said cost as much as $1 billion to develop. The unit is intended for enterprises that can manage their own systems but also shift data processing to the cloud.

The Armonk, N.Y., company asserted the new server can perform analytic workload processing 30 percent faster than its predecessor. Aside from advanced security and encryption standards, the new machine deploys internal technology dubbed Flash Express, which uses flash technology to keep services humming in times when transaction volumes are very high.

"It's what makes the mainframe the ultimate enterprise system," said Doug Balog, general manager for IBM System z products. In the first half, IBM's revenue from mainframes fell about 17 percent, the company previously reported.

IBM shares fell 12 cents to $195.57 in pre-market activity on Tuesday.