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Intel launches 3rd Gen Xeon 'Cooper Lake' CPUs

Intel's new processors are being claimed to be industry's first 'mainstream server processor with built-in bfloat16 support.'

Sushant Talwar | June 19, 2020 | Updated 12:43 IST

Highlights

  • Intel has launched new CPUs for data centers and servers
  • It also launched 2nd gen Optane memory and new SSDs
  • The processors are being said to bring valuable performance gains over their predecessors

Intel has announced its new 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors. These come as the latest additions to Intel's hardware and software AI portfolio for data center, network and intelligent-edge environments.

Intel's new processors are being claimed to be industry's first "mainstream server processor with built-in bfloat16 support". Code-named Cooper Lake, the new chips were announced alongside other commercial-grade products, including second-generation Optane persistent memory, new Intel SSDs and a new AI-focused FPGA.

"The ability to rapidly deploy AI and data analytics is essential for today's businesses. We remain committed to enhancing built-in AI acceleration and software optimizations within the processor that powers the world's data center and edge solutions, as well as delivering an unmatched silicon foundation to unleash insight from data," said, Lisa Spelman, Intel corporate vice president, and general manager, Xeon and Memory Group.

According to Intel, the new 3rd gen processors represent a huge opportunity as AI and analytics are becoming mainstays for customers across a broad range of industries, including finance, healthcare, industrial, telecom and transportation. According to an IDC report, by 2021, 75% of commercial enterprise apps will use AI, and by 2025, IDC estimates that roughly a quarter of all data generated will be created in real-time, with various internet of things (IoT) devices creating 95% of that volume growth.

Intel's 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable Processors

Intel claims to be enhancing its investment in built-in AI acceleration in the new 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors "through the integration of bfloat16 support into the processor's unique Intel DL Boost technology."

As the company explains, Bfloat16 is a compact numeric format that uses half the bits as today's FP32 format but achieves comparable model accuracy with minimal if any software changes required. The addition of bfloat16 support accelerates both AI training and inference performance in the CPU.

Additionally, the 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors also add to Intel's 4- and 8-socket processor offering. The processor is designed for deep learning, virtual machine (VM) density, in-memory database, mission-critical applications and analytics-intensive workloads. Intel claims that customers refreshing aging infrastructure can expect an average estimated gain of "1.9 times on popular workloads3 and up to 2.2 times more VMs4 compared with 5-year-old 4-socket platform equivalents."

Intel Optane memory and 3D NAND SSDs

As part of the 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable platform, the company has also announced the Intel Optane persistent memory 200 series, providing customers up to 4.5TB of memory per socket to manage data-intensive workloads, such as in-memory databases, dense virtualization, analytics, and high-powered computing.

Intel has also announced the availability of its next-generation high-capacity Intel 3D NAND SSDs, the Intel SSD D7-P5500 and P5600. These 3D NAND SSDs are built with Intel's latest triple-level cell (TLC) 3D NAND technology and an all-new low-latency PCIe controller to meet the intense IO requirements of AI and analytics workloads and advanced features to improve IT efficiency and data security.

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