Intel breaks out high-end Xeons; Aims to 'democratize' high performance computing

Intel rolled out high-end Xeon server processors that promise three times the performance over previous versions. The plan is to democratize high performance computing.

Intel on Tuesday rolled out high-end Xeon server processors that promise three times the performance over previous versions.

In a nutshell, Intel is arguing that data centers can replace 20 single core servers with one new Xeon 7500 system.

The Xeon 7500 series launch comes amid a barrage of server and chip news in recent days. Intel rolled out more mainstream Xeons, AMD introduced its response and now we have more. The Xeon 7500 series is more for real-time analytics and high performance computing.

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The overall data center upgrade theme, however, still stands. At issue is the third of Intel's customer base---AMD has a similar percentage---that is using single core and older servers. After more than a year of frozen capital spending, Intel is making a push to grab this upgrade cycle. Simply put, there are a lot of servers---not to mention PCs---to replace.

Indeed, Intel said it has rolled out a bevy of new PC and server chips. HP, Dell and IBM among others have launched new server systems. On a Webcast, Intel's Kirk Skaugen, vice president of the chip giant's data center group, said that the Xeon 7500 series is the largest performance jump in the chip's history. "We are democratizing high-end computing," he said.

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Among the key points about the Xeon 7500 series:

  • The processors expand from 2 to 256 chips per server;
  • They include 20 reliability features;
  • A 4x increase in memory capacity and 8x increase in memory bandwidth;
  • A "Machine Check Architecture Recovery," which allows the chip to work with the operating system and virtual machine to recover from fatal system errors;
  • Virtualization tools for load balancing, server maintenance and downtime.

The high-end Xeons come in quad, six and eight core versions and can scale up to 21 cores.

Here's the pricing:

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