Intel Announces 14nm Chips For An Efficient Datacentre

Intel reveals energy-efficient versions of its Xeon chips, its first products under new CEO Brian Krzanich

Intel has revealed energy efficient versions of its Xeon chips built with 14nm process and codenamed ‘Broadwell’, as well as the next generation of Atom System-on-a-Chip (SoC) designs codenamed ‘Denverton’. Both are expected to launch next year.

The two families of chips are primarily designed for use in “microservers” – lightweight server nodes densely bundled together to offer the best performance per watt.

Intel also offered more details about the members of the 22nm Atom C2000 SoC family, codenamed ‘Avoton’ and ‘Rangeley’, designed for specialised data centre tasks and due to be released before the end of the year.

The new products will be the first to launch under new CEO Brian Krzanich, who entered office on 16 May, replacing Paul Otellini. The announcements are seen as a pre-emptive strike against long-time rival AMD and other companies that plan to ship server chips based on deigns by ARM.

Re-architect the datacentre

Intel acknowledged that in the age of ubiquitous networking, “data centres must be more agile and service-driven than ever before”. With this in mind, the world’s largest chip manufacturer is planning to offer low-power processors for high-density servers that are able to deliver scale-out performance perfectly suited to running the Web.

Next year, Intel will launch energy efficient Xeon E3 family of processors built for intense tasks such as online gaming and media transcoding. It will also launch the next generation of Atom SoCs codenamed ‘Denverton’ that will enable even higher density deployments for data centre operators.

intel Atom S1200Meanwhile this year, we’ll see two versions of Atom C2000 SoCs: Avoton for high-density microservers and storage, and Rangeley for network devices. These chips will feature up to eight cores with integrated Ethernet and support for up to 64GB of DDR3 memory.

During the presentation at the Data Centre Day in San Francisco, Intel’s Jason Waxman said that on a per-core basis, the Avoton chips could beat ARM designs on efficiency. The new Atom silicon is expected to consume four times less electricity but provide up to seven times more performance than the first generation Atom S1200 SoCs, introduced in December.

The S1200 scored over 20 design wins with manufacturers like HP, Dell, Huawei and Supermicro, and Intel said the new version of the chip has already more than doubled the number of system designs.

Meanwhile, Rackspace announced that it will deploy a new generation of rack designs in the first ever implementation of Intel’s Rack Scale Architecture. The designs will be powered by Xeon processors and Intel Ethernet controllers, with storage accelerated by Intel Solid State Drives.

Last week, Intel posted disappointing second quarter results, with its mobile strategy still struggling to get off the ground and the PC market continuing to decline. The company’s net income fell 29 percent year-on-year, and revenue slid down five percent.

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