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Intel Ships New Xeon Processors For Data Centres

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Bold benchmarking claims…New Xeon chips tout improved data centre performance

Intel has made a bold declaration with its new Intel Xeon scalable processors, which it claims is the ‘biggest data centre advancement in a decade’.

Intel also claims the new chips offers the industry’s ‘highest levels of performance, and are designed for the ‘ evolving data centre’ by providing an energy-efficient design.

Indeed, the chip giant says that these Intel Xeon Scalable processors offer (on average) 1.65x higher performance over the prior generation of Xeon silicon. And when these chips are used in intensive workloads such as AI environments, the Intel Xeon Scalable processors delivers 2.2x performance over the prior generation.

Xeon E7

Benchmark Claims

Intel’s bold claims about benchmarks aside, the new chips are aimed at cloud computing, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing workloads.

The new chips come with a number of new features including Intel AVX-512, Intel Mesh Architecture, Intel QuickAssist, Intel Optane SSDs, and Intel Omni-Path Fabric.

“Data center and network infrastructure is undergoing massive transformations to support emerging use cases like precision medicine, artificial intelligence and agile network services paving the path to 5G,” said Navin Shenoy, executive VP and general manager of the Intel Data Centre Group. “Intel Xeon Scalable processors represent the biggest data center advancement in a decade.”

And Intel has already shipped more than 500,000 Intel Xeon Scalable processor to a number of customers.

“Customers will benefit from a dramatic performance increase of 1.65x on average over previous generation technology,” the firm said. “With 58 world records and counting, Intel Xeon Scalable delivers industry leading performance across the broadest range of workloads.”

Essentially, these chips features a new core microarchitecture, new on-die interconnects and memory controllers, all of which optimises performance as well as reliability, security and manageability.

Aside from the performance boost, Intel says these new chips are also scalable, as the Intel Xeon scalable processors can offer up to 28 cores and up to 6 terabytes of system memory (4-socket systems). The chips can also scale to support 2-socket through 8-socket systems and beyond.

And security has been thought of as well, as traditionally full encryption used to entail a performance hit, but the new Intel Xeon Scalable processor also delivers a 3.1x performance improvement generation-over-generation in cryptography performance.

The firm meanwhile has also introduced Intel Select Solutions, which is a solutions brand designed to simplify and speed the deployment of data centre and network infrastructure, with initial solutions delivery on Canonical Ubuntu, Microsoft SQL 16 and VMware vSAN 6.6.

Busy Time

It has been a busy period for the chip firm. Last month for example Lenovo implemented the ‘world’s largest’ Intel-based supercomputer in Spain.

And Intel has also recently made official changes to the Xeon branding, a move that saw the introduction of metallic classifications to grade the processor family

Intel has been refocusing on alternatives to the PC market, and has broadened its reach into such areas as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, the internet of things (IoT), drones, self-driving cars, 5G wireless technology and wearable devices.

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