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Intel Whitley Platform for Xeon "Ice Lake-SP" Processors Pictured

Here's is the first schematic of Intel's upcoming "Whitley" enterprise platform for the upcoming Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake-SP" processors, courtesy momomo_us. The platform sees the introduction of the new LGA4189 socket necessitated by Intel increasing the memory channels per socket to 8, compared to 6 of the current-gen "Cascade Lake-SP." The new platform also sees the introduction of PCI-Express gen 4.0 bus, with each socket putting out up to 64 PCI-Express gen 4.0 CPU-attached lanes. This are typically wired out as three x16 slots, two x8 slots, an x4 chipset bus, and a CPU-attached 10 GbE controller.

The processor supports up to 8 memory channels running at DDR4-3200 with ECC. The other key component of the platform is the Intel C621A PCH. The C621A talks to the "Ice Lake-SP" processor over a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 link, and appears to retain gen 3.0 fabric from the older generation C621. momomo_us also revealed that the 10 nm "Ice Lake-SP" processor could have TDP of up to 270 W.

Intel Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake-SP" 28-core Die Detailed at Hot Chips - 18% IPC Increase

Intel in the opening presentation of the Hot Chips 32 virtual conference detailed its next-generation Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake-SP" enterprise processor. Built on the company's 10 nm silicon fabrication process, "Ice Lake-SP" sees the first non-client and non-mobile deployment of the company's new "Sunny Cove" CPU core that introduces higher IPC than the "Skylake" core that's been powering Intel microarchitectures since 2015. While the "Sunny Cove" core itself is largely unchanged from its implementation in 10th Gen Core "Ice Lake-U" mobile processors, it conforms to the cache hierarchy and tile silicon topology of Intel's enterprise chips.

The "Ice Lake-SP" die Intel talked about in its Hot Chips 32 presentation had 28 cores. The "Sunny Cove" CPU core is configured with the same 48 KB L1D cache as its client-segment implementation, but a much larger 1280 KB (1.25 MB) dedicated L2 cache. The core also receives a second fused multiply/add (FMA-512) unit, which the client-segment implementation lacks. It also receives a handful new instruction sets exclusive to the enterprise segment, including AVX-512 VPMADD52, Vector-AES, Vector Carry-less Multiply, GFNI, SHA-NI, Vector POPCNT, Bit Shuffle, and Vector BMI. In one of the slides, Intel also detailed the performance uplifts from the new instructions compared to "Cascade Lake-SP".

Chenbro RB133G13-U10: Barebone 1U Dual Xeon NVMe SSD Server System

Chenbro launches the RB133G13-U10, a 1U dual Intel Xeon Scalable NVMe SSD server barebone system designed for all-flash array (AFA), tiered and virtualized storage applications in Enterprise. Offering Intel VROC, Apache Pass, and Redfish compliance, the RB133G13-U10 is ideal for high-performance applications such as software-defined storage, virtualization, HPC, Cloud computing, and SaaS, with end-to-end security and effortless management. The scale-up storage design helps Enterprise remain agile to meet future business needs.

The RB133G13-U10 is a custom 1U chassis pre-fitted with dual Intel Xeon motherboard. Ready to install two Intel Xeon Scalable processors with up to 28-cores, 165 W TDP, with a maximum of 2 TB of DDR4 memory, 2X 10 GbE connectivity, 1X PCI-E Gen 3 x16 HH/HL expansion slot and with support for up to 10X hot-swappable NVMe U.2 drives, it is an ideal barebone storage solution that scales as a company's needs grow.

GIGABYTE Launches R292 Servers Supporting 4-way 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

GIGABYTE, an industry leader in high-performance servers and workstations, today announced the launch of the GIGABYTE R292 servers featuring four 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, supporting four double-slot accelerators in the R292-4S0, and eight full-height half-length expansion cards in the R292-4S1.

The R292 series server supports four 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors. Each processor can perform data transfer or share workload at 20.8GT/s with the other three processors on the motherboard. Its breakthrough computing power can be used to power mission-critical application at scale and analyze growing data at extraordinary speeds.

Possible Intel "Ice Lake-SP" 24-core Xeon Processor Surfaces on Geekbench Database

Intel plans to update its Xeon Scalable server processor family this year with the new "Ice Lake-SP" microarchitecture. Built on the 10 nm+ silicon fabrication process, "Ice Lake-SP" is a high- thru extreme core-count monolithic silicon that features "Sunny Cove" CPU cores that introduce the first real IPC increases over "Skylake." A 24-core/48-thread processor likely based on this silicon surfaced on the Geekbench database, where it posted some impressive numbers given its low clock speeds.

The processor comes with an identification string "GenuineIntel Family 6 Model 106 Stepping 4," with a nominal clock speed of 2.20 GHz, and boost frequency of 2.90 GHz, which points to the possibility of this being an engineering sample. Besides clock speeds and core counts, some basic hardware specs were detected by Geekbench 4. For starters, the processor has an L1D cache size of 48 KB and L1I cache size of 32 KB, which is similar to the client-segment "Ice Lake-U" silicon based Core i7-1065G7, and confirms that this processor uses "Sunny Cove" cores. "Cascade Lake" and "Skylake" cores use 32 KB L1D caches. Also, the dedicated L2 cache per core is 1.25 MB, up from the 1 MB L2 caches on "Cascade Lake." Client-segment "Ice Lake" chips use 512 KB L2 caches. The shared L3 cache is 36 MB (or 1.5 MB slice per core), which loosely aligns with the cache balance of Intel's server and HEDT processors. In this bench run, the processor is backed by 256 GB of memory, of an unknown type or configuration. In the three bench runs, the setup scores roughly 4100 points single-core, and roughly 42000 points multi-core.

Intel Reports First-Quarter 2020 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported first-quarter 2020 financial results. "Our first-quarter performance is a testament to our team's focus on safeguarding employees, supporting our supply chain partners and delivering for our customers during this unprecedented challenge," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO."The role technology plays in the world is more essential now than it has ever been, and our opportunity to enrich lives and enable our customers' success has never been more vital. Guided by our cultural values, competitive advantages and financial strength, I am confident we will emerge from this situation an even stronger company."

In the first quarter, Intel achieved 34 percent data-centric revenue growth and 14 percent PC-centric revenue growth YoY. The company maintained essential factory operations with greater than 90 percent on-time delivery while supporting employees, customers and communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a new Intel Pandemic Response Technology Initiative to combat the virus where we can uniquely make a difference with Intel technology, expertise, and resources.

Intel Restarts 14 nm Operations in Costa Rica, Aims to Increase Capacity for Xeon Output

Intel has decided to restart operations in its previously winded-down Costa Rica facilities. An Intel Product Change Notification (PCN) for their Cascade Lake Xeon Scalable processors shows that the company has added Costa Rica to its three other "Test and Finish" sites - the other three are located in Penang (Malaysia), Kulim (Malaysia) and Vietnam. Intel's aim is to guarantee a "continuous supply" of the affected processors - namely, Cascade Lake second-generation Xeon Scalable processors in the Silver, Gold and Platinum lines (in both boxed and tray SKUs).

This move, which will be done in phases. The first implementation of the Costa Rica operations will be effective on April 19th, with the remaining operations to come online on August 3rd. Intel expects to reduce dependency on their other three Test and Finish sites, while being able to bolster final production capacity by some 25% with this move.

ASUS Announces Exclusive Power Balancer Technology and Servers with New 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable

ASUS, the leading IT Company in server systems, server motherboards, workstations and workstation motherboards today announced exclusive Power Balancer technology to support the new 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processor (extended Cascade Lake-SP refresh SKUs) across all server product lineups, including the RS720/720Q/700 E9, RS520/500 E9 and ESC8000/4000 G4 series server systems and Z11 server motherboards.

In complex applications, such as high-performance computing (HPC), AI or edge computing, balancing performance and power consumption is always a challenge. With Power Balancer technology and the new 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processor, ASUS servers save up to 31 watts power per node on specific workloads and achieve even better efficiency with more servers in large-scale environments, significantly decreasing overall power consumption for a much lower total cost of ownership and optimized operations.

Intel Discontinues Omni-Path Enabled Xeon Processors

Intel's Omni-Path technology has been used primarily in high performance computing market, in order to provide high speed interconnect between Intel Xeon CPUs, with speeds reaching around 100 Gbps. Accompanied by different design and system integration that Omni-Path uses, it was a bit difficult to integrate into server system, while not adding much value that other technologies couldn't match or beat.

Because of these reasons, Intel is now discontinuing its last product capable of utilizing Omni-Path - the first generation Xeon Scalable CPUs. Carrying the suffix "F", these CPUs had an extra connector sticking out of CPU's PCB to enable the Omni-Path functionality (see images bellow). There were eight CPUs manufactured in total that had this extra feature, consisting out of two Xeon Platinum and six Xeon Gold CPUs, which have now reached end of life. Intel states that focus from these CPUs has shifted to other technologies like silicon photonics, which provides much greater speed reaching 100s of gigabits per second. Intel already demonstrated transceivers capable of reaching 400 Gb/s speeds with the magic of light, which will become available in 1H 2020.

LGA 4189 is the Latest Socket for Intel's Next Generation of Xeon CPUs

TE Connectivity, the maker of various kinds of connectivity solutions for computer systems, has released its latest iteration of the LGA socket for the next generation of Xeon Scalable CPUs. Being validated by Intel, the LGA 4189-4 and LGA 4189-5 are going to power the next generation of 10 nm Xeon CPUs, based on the Ice Lake architecture, and up to 56-core 2nd generation Xeon Scalable CPUs. While there are two models of the socket, TE Connectivity didn't reveal what the differences are between them. Socket P4 (LGA 4189-4) and P5 (LGA 4189-5) also feature exactly the same pin count, 0.9906 mm hex pitch and 2.7 mm SP height, so we can only speculate that the "4" or "5" in the revision is supposed to indicate details like higher power delivery capability or support for Ice Lake CPUs.

In addition to providing a new socket for Ice Lake, these sockets have support for PCI-Express Gen 4.0 and eight-channel memory (supported memory configurations are vendor dependent), meaning that we are getting two more memory channels than previous Xeon CPUs with a faster and newer PCIe standard.

Next-generation Intel Xeon Scalable Processors to Deliver Breakthrough Platform Performance with up to 56 Processor Cores

Intel today announced its future Intel Xeon Scalable processor family (codename Cooper Lake) will offer customers up to 56 processor cores per socket and built-in AI training acceleration in a standard, socketed CPU as part of its mainline Intel Xeon Scalable platforms, with availability in the first half of 2020. The breakthrough platform performance delivered within the high-core-count Cooper Lake processors will leverage the capabilities built into the Intel Xeon Platinum 9200 series, which today is gaining momentum among the world's most demanding HPC customers, including HLRN, Advania, 4Paradigm, and others.

"The Intel Xeon Platinum 9200 series that we introduced as part of our 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor family generated a lot of excitement among our customers who are deploying the technology to run their high-performance computing (HPC), advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and high-density infrastructure. Extended 56-core processor offerings into our mainline Intel Xeon Scalable platforms enables us to serve a much broader range of customers who hunger for more processor performance and memory bandwidth."
-Lisa Spelman, vice president and general manager of Data Center Marketing, Intel Corporation

Intel Reports First-Quarter 2019 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported first-quarter 2019 financial results. "Results for the first quarter were slightly higher than our January expectations. We shipped a strong mix of high performance products and continued spending discipline while ramping 10nm and managing a challenging NAND pricing environment. Looking ahead, we're taking a more cautious view of the year, although we expect market conditions to improve in the second half," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "Our team is focused on expanding our market opportunity, accelerating our innovation and improving execution while evolving our culture. We aim to capitalize on key technology inflections that set us up to play a larger role in our customers' success, while improving returns for our owners."

In the first quarter, the company generated approximately $5.0 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.4 billion and used $2.5 billion to repurchase 49 million shares of stock. In the first quarter, Intel achieved 4 percent growth in the PC-centric business while data-centric revenue declined 5 percent.

Intel Unleashes 56-core Xeon "Cascade Lake" Processor to Preempt 64-core EPYC

Intel late Tuesday made a boat-load of enterprise-relevant product announcements, including the all important update to its Xeon Scalable enterprise processor product-stack, with the addition of the new 56-core Xeon Scalable "Cascade Lake" processor. This chip is believed to be Intel's first response to the upcoming AMD 7 nm EPYC "Rome" processor with 64 cores and a monolithic memory interface. The 56-core "Cascade Lake" is a multi-chip module (MCM) of two 28-core dies, each with a 6-channel DDR4 memory interface, totaling 12-channel for the package. Each of the two 28-core dies are built on the existing 14 nm++ silicon fabrication process, and the IPC of each of the 56 cores are largely unchanged since "Skylake." Intel however, has added several HPC and AI-relevant instruction-sets.

To begin with, Intel introduced DL Boost, which could be a fixed-function hardware matrix multiplier that accelerates building and training of AI deep-learning neural networks. Next up, are hardware mitigation against several speculative execution CPU security vulnerabilities that haunted the computing world since early-2018, including certain variants of "Spectre" and "Meltdown." A hardware fix presents lesser performance impact compared to a software fix in the form of a firmware patch. Intel has added support for Optane Persistent Memory, which is the company's grand vision for what succeeds volatile primary memory such as DRAM. Currently slower than DRAM but faster than SSDs, Optane Persistent Memory is non-volatile, and its contents can be made to survive power-outages. This allows sysadmins to power-down entire servers to scale down with workloads, without worrying about long wait times to restore uptime when waking up those servers. Among the CPU instruction-sets added include AVX-512 and AES-NI.

Intel Announces Broadest Product Portfolio for Moving, Storing, and Processing Data

Intel Tuesday unveiled a new portfolio of data-centric solutions consisting of 2nd-Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors, Intel Optane DC memory and storage solutions, and software and platform technologies optimized to help its customers extract more value from their data. Intel's latest data center solutions target a wide range of use cases within cloud computing, network infrastructure and intelligent edge applications, and support high-growth workloads, including AI and 5G.

Building on more than 20 years of world-class data center platforms and deep customer collaboration, Intel's data center solutions target server, network, storage, internet of things (IoT) applications and workstations. The portfolio of products advances Intel's data-centric strategy to pursue a massive $300 billion data-driven market opportunity.

Intel Could Upstage EPYC "Rome" Launch with "Cascade Lake" Before Year-end

Intel is reportedly working tirelessly to launch its "Cascade Lake" Xeon Scalable 48-core enterprise processor before year-end, according to a launch window timeline slide leaked by datacenter hardware provider QCT. The slide suggests a late-Q4 thru Q1-2019 launch timeline for the XCC (extreme core count) version of "Cascade Lake," which packs 48 CPU cores across two dies on an MCM. This launch is part of QCT's "early shipment program," which means select enterprise customers can obtain the hardware in pre-approved quantities. In other words, this is a limited launch, but one that's probably enough to upstage AMD's 7 nm EPYC "Rome" 64-core processor launch.

It's only by late-Q1 thru Q2-2019 that the Xeon "Cascade Lake" family would be substantially launched, including lower core-count variants that are still 2-die MCMs. This aligns to preempt or match AMD's 7 nm EPYC family rollout through 2019. "Cascade Lake" is probably Intel's final enterprise microarchitecture to be built on the 14 nm++ node, and consists of 2-die multi-chip modules that feature 48 cores, and a 12-channel memory interface (6-channel per die); with 88-lane PCIe from the CPU socket. The processor is capable of multi-socket configurations. It will also be Intel's launch platform for substantially launching its Optane Persistent Memory product series.

Intel Announces Cascade Lake Advanced Performance and Xeon E-2100

Intel today announced two new members of its Intel Xeon processor portfolio: Cascade Lake advanced performance (expected to be released the first half of 2019) and the Intel Xeon E-2100 processor for entry-level servers (general availability today). These two new product families build upon Intel's foundation of 20 years of Intel Xeon platform leadership and give customers even more flexibility to pick the right solution for their needs.

"We remain highly focused on delivering a wide range of workload-optimized solutions that best meet our customers' system requirements. The addition of Cascade Lake advanced performance CPUs and Xeon E-2100 processors to our Intel Xeon processor lineup once again demonstrates our commitment to delivering performance-optimized solutions to a wide range of customers," said Lisa Spelman, Intel vice president and general manager of Intel Xeon products and data center marketing.

GIGABYTE Expands Density Optimized Intel Xeon Scalable Server Range

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, an industry leader in competitive, high performance server platforms & embedded solutions continues to expand its Intel Xeon Scalable product family by adding three new density optimized systems: H231-H60, H261-H60, and H261-H61, giving our customer a wider range of choices to meet their ever increasing needs for efficiency in the server room.
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