Intel has taken the wraps off its next-generation Intel Xeon product lineup at the recent Hot Chips event. The tech giant introduced processors with a new Efficient-core (E-core) architecture, complementing its established Performance-core (P-core) architecture. These innovations, code-named Sierra Forest and Granite Rapids, are set to redefine simplicity and flexibility in the server CPU landscape.
A New Dawn for Intel's Xeon Roadmap
Lisa Spelman, Intel's corporate vice president and general manager of Xeon Products and Solutions, expressed her enthusiasm about the company's trajectory. “It is an exciting time for Intel and its Xeon roadmap,” she said. “We recently shipped our millionth 4th Gen Xeon. Our 5th Gen Xeon, code-named Emerald Rapids, is set to launch in Q4 2023. And our 2024 data center products are poised to make a significant impact in the industry.”
Technical Innovations: Beyond the Basics
The new Intel Xeon platform is not just about more cores or faster speeds. It's about reimagining scalability and flexibility. By utilizing modular system-on-chips (SoCs), Intel aims to cater to a broader range of needs, from AI to cloud computing. This approach ensures customers get maximum value from their investment, with two different socket-compatible processors tailored for diverse workloads. Among the standout features are shared intellectual property between P-core and E-core, support for the fastest DDR, and advanced I/O capabilities.
Sierra Forest: Efficiency Reimagined
Intel's E-core Xeon processors, known as Sierra Forest, are a testament to the company's commitment to power efficiency without compromising performance. Designed for cloud-native and hyperscale workloads, these processors promise 2.5x better rack density and 2.4x higher performance per watt. They also support modern instruction sets, ensuring robust security and enhanced virtualization.
- “2.5x better rack density and 2.4x higher performance per watt1.
- Support for 1S and 2S servers, with up to 144c per CPU and TDP as low as 200W.
- Modern instruction set with robust security, virtualization and AVX with AI extensions.
- Foundational memory RAS features such as machine check, data cache ECC standard in all Xeon CPUs.”
Granite Rapids: Performance at its Peak
On the other side of the spectrum, the P-core Xeon processors, dubbed Granite Rapids, are all about delivering unmatched performance. They are optimized for workloads that demand high-core performance, offering 2-3x better performance for mixed AI workloads. With enhanced Intel AMX and support for new FP16 instructions, these processors are set to be a game-changer in compute-intensive tasks.
- “2-3x better performance for mixed AI workloads3.
- Enhanced Intel AMX with support for new FP16 instructions.
- Higher memory bandwidth, core count, cache for compute intensive workloads.
- Socket scalability from one socket to eight sockets.”
Looking Ahead: Intel's Commitment
Intel's unveiling is not just about new products; it's a statement of intent. The company's data center roadmap is on track, with the 5th Gen Intel Xeon processors launching later this year. The E-core Sierra Forest is slated for the first half of 2024, closely followed by the P-core Granite Rapids.