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On Tuesday 2nd of April 2019 at a data-center innovation event in California , Intel announced its widest portfolio of Intel Xeon processors ever.  Intel has launched over 50 new processors, a lot of them with data-center optimization in mind, as well as other new chips, memory and storage solutions.  This new product portfolio shows Intel’s shift from being a “PC-centric” company to being more focused on data center technologies, which is no surprise given the ever-increasing demand for systems that are optimized for AI workloads, cloud computing and 5G networking.

These new 2nd generation Xeon Scalable processors include support for Intel DL Boost technology (Intel Deep Learning Boost) which is designed to accelerate AI inference workloads such as image-recognition in datacenter, enterprise and edge-computing environments.  Intel says they have worked closely with their partners so that DL Boost technology is optimized and users can maximise benefits from the technology. In fact, the real world practical value of DL Boost technology has been demonstrated as Microsoft has reported a 3.4x boost in image-recognition performance, Target has reported a 4.4x boost in machine learning inference and has seen a 2.4x boost in text recognition, all since implementing Intel DL Boost technology.

Intel’s new server-class flagship processor is now undoubtedly the Xeon Scalable Platinum 9200, with 56 cores and 12 memory channels.  Intel says that this processor is “designed to deliver leadership socket-level performance and unprecedented DDR memory bandwidth in a wide variety of high-performance computing (HPC) workloads, AI applications and high density infrastructure.  

Other new features of the new generation Xeon Scalables include Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, which allows for a maximum boost clock of 4.4GHz, Enhanced Intel Infrastructure Management Technologies and importantly support for Intel’s Optane DC persistent memory.  


Intel have also updated their Xeon D product family with the new 1600 series which builds on the Xeon D-1500 by providing higher clock speeds in a familiar package.  The new processors will see an increase in base frequency of 1.2 - 1.5x that of Xeon D-1500 processors with a boost clock of up to 3.2GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, thanks to extra TDP headroom.  These new chips are mainly targeted at edge networking, mid-range storage solutions and solutions were space is a constraint such as localised cloud infrastructure.

Alongside the new Xeon CPUs, Intel also launched their Optane DC Persistent memory DIMMs which they describe as delivering “breakthrough storage-class memory capacity to the Intel Xeon Scalable Platform”.  These new memory modules can be installed with traditional DRAM in systems using a standard DDR4 slot. Optane DC Persistent memory is quite revolutionary because it provides a consistent memory tier, which allows data persistence in main system memory rather than disks.      

Alongside this, Intel also launched a new dual-port SSD the Optane DC SSD D4800X (NVMe), which they claim will deliver 9x faster read latency when compared to NAND dual port.  The Intel SSD DC D5-P4326 was also released which is one of Intel's new “Ruler” SSDs, named so because of their form factor. These long and thin “ruler” shaped SSDs come in 15.36TB and 30.72TB capacities, with the smaller also being available in a more conventional 2.5 inch U.2 form factor.  These enterprise-class SSDs finally make it possible to have up to 1PB of storage in a 1U server design, making possible a whole new level of storage density.


If you would like more information about Intel's newly released products, click here.


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