Wednesday, 07 April 2021 13:12

Intel launches its most advanced performance data centre platform: the 3rd-gen Intel Xeon scalable Featured

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Intel says its new 3rd-gen Intel Xeon Scalable is "the only data centre processors with built-in AI", delivering on average 46% increased performance."

Intel has launched what it says is "its most advanced, highest performance data centre platform optimised to power the industry’s broadest range of workloads — from the cloud to the network to the intelligent edge", with a replay of the video launch embedded at the end of this article. 

Its new 3rd-gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors are code-named “Ice Lake”, and are "the foundation of Intel’s data centre platform, enabling customers to capitalise on some of the most significant business opportunities today by leveraging the power of AI."

Naturally, Intel claims its new processors "deliver a significant performance increase compared with the prior generation, with an average 46% improvement on popular data centre workloads.

"The processors also add new and enhanced platform capabilities including Intel SGX for built-in security, and Intel Crypto Acceleration and Intel DL Boost for AI acceleration.

"These new capabilities, combined with Intel’s broad portfolio of Intel Select Solutions and Intel Market Ready Solutions, enable customers to accelerate deployments across cloud, AI, enterprise, HPC, networking, security and edge applications."

Navin Shenoy, EVP and GM manager of the Data Platforms Group at Intel said: "Our 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable platform is the most flexible and performant in our history, designed to handle the diversity of workloads from the cloud to the network to the edge.

"Intel is uniquely positioned with the architecture, design and manufacturing to deliver the breadth of intelligent silicon and solutions our customers demand.”

3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

Leveraging Intel 10 nanometer (nm) process technology, Intel says its latest 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors "deliver up to 40 cores per processor and up to 2.65 times higher average performance gain compared with a 5-year-old system. The platform supports up to 6 terabytes of system memory per socket, up to 8 channels of DDR4-3200 memory per socket and up to 64 lanes of PCIe Gen4 per socket.

"The processors are optimised for modern workloads that run in both on-premise and distributed multicloud environments. The processors provide customers with a flexible architecture including built-in acceleration and advanced security capabilities, leveraging decades of innovation."

· Built-in AI acceleration: The latest 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors deliver the AI performance, productivity and simplicity that enable customers to unlock more valuable insights from their data. As the only data centre CPU with built-in AI acceleration, extensive software optimisations and turnkey solutions, the new processors make it possible to infuse AI into every application from edge to network to cloud. The latest hardware and software optimisations deliver 74% faster AI performance compared with the prior generation and provide up to 1.5 times higher performance across a broad mix of 20 popular AI workloads versus AMD EPYC 7763 and up to 1.3 times higher performance on a broad mix of 20 popular AI workloads versus Nvidia A100 GPU.

· Built-in security: With hundreds of research studies and production deployments, plus the ability to be continuously hardened over time, Intel SGX protects sensitive code and data with the smallest potential attack surface within the system. It is now available on 2-socket Xeon Scalable processors with enclaves that can isolate and process up to 1 terabyte of code and data to support the demands of mainstream workloads. Combined with new features, including Intel® Total Memory Encryption and Intel® Platform Firmware Resilience, the latest Xeon Scalable processors address today’s most pressing data protection concerns.

· Built-in crypto acceleration: Intel Crypto Acceleration delivers breakthrough performance across a host of important cryptographic algorithms. Businesses that run encryption-intensive workloads, such as online retailers who process millions of customer transactions per day, can leverage this capability to protect customer data without impacting user response times or overall system performance.

"Additionally, to accelerate workloads on the 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable platform, software developers can optimise their applications using oneAPI open, cross-architecture programming, which provides freedom from technical and economic burdens of proprietary models. The Intel oneAPI Toolkits help realies the processors’ performance, AI and encryption capabilities through advanced compilers, libraries, and analysis and debug tools."

Intel reminds us its Xeon Scalable processors "are supported by more than 500 ready-to-deploy Intel IoT Market Ready Solutions and Intel Select Solutions that help to accelerate customer deployments — with up to 80% of our Intel Select Solutions being refreshed by end of year."

Industry-Leading Data Centre Platform

Intel’s also proudly boasts its data centre platforms "are the most pervasive on the market, with unmatched capabilities to move, store and process data. The latest 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable platform includes the Intel Optane persistent memory 200 series, Intel Optane Solid State Drive (SSD) P5800X and Intel SSD D5-P5316 NAND SSDs, as well as Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapters and the latest Intel Agilex FPGAs."

Delivering flexible performance across cloud, networking and intelligent edge

Intel also states its 3rd-gen Xeon Scalable platform "is optimised for a wide range of market segments — from the cloud to the intelligent edge":

· For the cloud: 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors are engineered and optimised for the demanding requirements of cloud workloads and support a wide range of service environments. Over 800 of the world’s cloud service providers run on Intel Xeon Scalable processors, and all of the largest cloud service providers are planning to offer cloud services in 2021 powered by 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors.

• For the network: Intel’s network-optimised “N-SKUs” are designed to support diverse network environments and optimised for multiple workloads and performance levels. The latest 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors deliver on average 62% more performance on a range of broadly-deployed network and 5G workloads over the prior generation.[iv] Working with a broad ecosystem of over 400 Intel® Network Builders members, Intel delivers solution blueprints based on 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor “N SKUs,” resulting in accelerated qualification and shortened time-to-deployment for vRAN, NFVI, virtual CDN and more.

• For the intelligent edge: 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors deliver the performance, security and operational controls required for powerful AI, complex image or video analytics, and consolidated workloads at the intelligent edge. The platform delivers up to 1.56 times more AI inference performance for image classification than the prior generations.

A replay of the launch event can be seen here:

 


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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