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Data centers are changing, and fast. The servers that power them need to catch up just as quickly.

Think your customers’ data centers are just quietly running accounting applications? Think again. We’re in the middle of a data-center transformation, ushered in by a new era of data-centric computing. If your data-center customers aren’t already implementing the cloud, 5G, IoT edge devices and artificial intelligence, it’s likely they will soon.

This isn’t your father’s data center, and your father’s server processors aren’t going to cut it, either. That’s why Intel has introduced its second-generation Intel Xeon Scalable Processor family, code-named Cascade Lake.

New feature set

In the midrange, the new Intel Xeon processors offer performance improvements over the previous generation of 25% to 35%. (For more details, see this Intel product performance page.)

That’s a big jump, especially if your customers, like many, still run the previous generation of servers.

New features of the second-gen Intel Xeon SP processor family include:

> Higher performance: Improved Turbo frequencies of up to 4.4 GHz, yet on the same 14nm architecture as the first generation.

> Greater agility: Enhanced Intel Resource Director Technology to improve cache allocation and other infrastructure-management features.

> Enhanced memory support: with Intel Optane DC persistent memory for selected SKUs (more on this below) and enhanced DDR4 performance support of up to 16GB.

> Stronger security: with Intel Security Essentials, Intel Threat Detection Technology, and Intel Key Protection Technology.

> Accelerated AI: Intel Deep Learning Boost (also known as Vector Neural Network Instruction, or VNNI — pronounced “Vinnie” — for short) extends Intel AVX-512 to accelerate artificial intelligence and deep learning inference

Yet another cool feature of the new Intel Xeon SPs is called Speed Select. It lets developers chose from three options for frequency and core count. This gives cloud providers and other developers the ability to either test or deploy configurations on the same SKU for optimal speed and frequency.

New Optane support

Selected SKUs of the new Intel Xeon SP processor family also support Intel’s Optane DC persistent memory, code-named Apache Pass.

It’s a new type of memory that sits close to the CPU for faster processing. Intel Optane DC persistent memory offers a new level of price/performance, delivering near-DDR performance, yet at a lower-than-DDR price. And with a maximum capacity of 512GB, it’s also larger than DDR. But it’s pin-compatible, meaning you can drop the memory into a DDR slot for easy installation.

“Persistent” here means the device retains its data even is power is shut off. That can be handy during a power loss. It can also speed a server reboot after a patch is installed.

This new class of memory and storage added to the Intel Optane family will be supported on Gold and Platinum levels of the new Intel Xeon Scalable Processor family. SKUs for Platinum will be numbered 82xx. SKUs for Gold will be numbered 62xx and 52xx.

As for the Silver and Bronze SKUs — numbered 42xx and 32xx, respectively — with just one exception, they won’t support Intel Optane DC persistent memory, at least not yet. (That one exception is Silver 4215.)

Intel Select Solutions, too

Solutions offered by Intel partners in the Intel Select Solutions program have already upgraded to take advantage of the new Intel Xeon SP processors.

As you may already know, Intel Select Solutions offers workload-optimized software for data centers based on Intel Xeon processors. Current workloads include cloud, analytics and AI, storage, high-performance computing (HPC), and network transformation.

Put it all together, and you’ve got a next-gen set of processors, memory and solutions for your customers’ next-generation data centers.


Learn more & get sales resources: Intel Xeon Scalable Processor for Intel Technology Providers


Blog Category: 
Cloud and Data Centers