Intel Xeon Scalable Processors gear up for increased workloads of AI

Intel has announced the Intel Xeon Scalable processors, architected for today’s evolving data centre and network infrastructure. According to Intel, the series offers the industry’s highest energy efficiency and system-level performance averaging 1.65x higher performance over the earlier generation. In growing workloads like artificial intelligence (AI), Intel Xeon Scalable processors deliver 2.2x performance over the prior generation.

The Intel Xeon Scalable processors feature technologies such as Intel AVX-512, Intel Mesh Architecture, Intel QuickAssist, Intel Optane SSDs (solid state devices) and Intel Omni-Path Fabric, delivering up to 4.2x more virtual machines when compared with a four-year-old system, reports Intel. Advantages are lower energy costs and space efficiency, spurring enterprise data centre modernization, predicts Intel.

The Intel Xeon Scalable processors are designed to handle compute-hungry tasks including real-time analytics, virtualised infrastructure and high-performance computing. The processors are available now. Innovations 2.2x higher deep learning training and inference compared to the previous generation, and 113x deep learning performance gains compared to a three-year-old non-optimissed server system when combined with software optimisations, says Intel. This accelerates the delivery of AI-fueled services.

For networking performance, the Intel Xeon Scalable processor delivers up to 2.5x increased IPSec forwarding rate for key networking applications compared to the previous generation, when using Intel QuickAssist and DPDK.

To address the needs of high performance computing (HPC), the Intel Xeon Scalable processor provides up to a 2x FLOPs/clock improvement with Intel AVX-512 as well as integrated Intel Omni-Path Architecture ports, for improved compute capability, I/O flexibility and memory bandwidth.

Storage is also improved, with up to 5x more IOPS processed, while latency is reduced by up to 70 per cent, compared with out-of-the-box NVMe SSDs when combined with Intel Optane SSDs and Storage Performance Development Kit (SPDK). This result in data being more accessible for advanced analytics.

The Intel Xeon Scalable processor features a new core microarchitecture, new on-die interconnects and memory controllers. The processors deliver an overall performance increase up to 1.65x versus the previous generation, and up to 5x OLTP warehouse workloads versus the current install base. These performance gains, for workloads including modeling and simulation, machine learning, HPC and digital content creation are enabled through new features such as Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel AVX-512), which boost performance of computationally intensive tasks, a new Intel Mesh Architecture for reduced system latency, Intel QuickAssist Technology for hardware acceleration of cryptography and data compression operations and integrated high-speed fabric with Intel Omni-Path Architecture for cost-effective deployment of HPC clusters.

Optimised to meet the performance demands in data centres and communications networks, the Intel Xeon Scalable processors offer up to 28 cores and up to 6Tbytes of system memory (four-socket systems), and scale to support two-socket through to eight-socket systems to power from entry-level workloads to mission-critical applications.

Data protection through full encryption has carried a significant performance overhead. Application can now run with less than one per cent overhead with data-at-rest encryption turned on. The new Intel Xeon Scalable processor also delivers a 3.1x performance improvement generation-over-generation in cryptography performance. The processors’ security features have been extended with Intel Key Protection Technology, and they are designed to secure the platform with further advancements in hardware root of trust.


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