Intel officially launched “Ice Lake”, its new third-generation Xeon Scalable processor on Tuesday. This 10-nanometer processor, which offers up to 40 cores per processor, forms the basis of Intel’s data center platform. It is designed for workloads spanning a range of markets, from cloud to network and to the edge, argues the US founder.
Intel management says all “top” cloud service providers like AWS or Azure will offer Ice Lake-based services. For the launch of this chip, more than 50 OEMs built more than 250 servers based on this platform. The third generation Xeon platform “is the most flexible and the most efficient in our history,” Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of Intel’s Data Platforms Group, said Tuesday in a press release to present this new offering.
Intel management is counting heavily on this launch, which comes at a pivotal time for the founder as the data center market is increasingly competitive and AMD is now eyeing the overwhelming market share of ‘Intel, whose own customers are increasingly interested in building their own chips. CEO Pat Gelsinger – who took over as the company in January – has hired Intel “at a steady state-of-the-art rate,” using both its own manufacturing and external manufacturing to take the lead in the face of this. new competition.
The last-ditch generation?
Compared to the previous generation, Ice Lake offers an average 46% increase in performance on popular data center workloads, according to Intel. The processors also add Intel SGX (Software Guard Extensions) for integrated security, as well as Intel Crypto Acceleration. They include Intel’s DL Boost for AI acceleration. The platform supports up to six terabytes of system memory per socket, up to eight channels of DDR4-3200 memory per socket, and up to 64 lanes of PCIe Gen4 per socket.
Thanks to hardware and software optimizations, Intel claims that Ice Lake offers 74% faster AI performance compared to the previous generation. Compared to the third generation AMD Epyc 7763, Intel says the platform performs up to 1.5 times better across a wide range of 20 popular AI workloads. Compared to the Nvidia A100 GPU, Intel says performance is up to 1.3x better on a wide range of 20 popular AI workloads.
Intel SGX, and security in general, is a major selling point for Intel’s Ice Lake. This technology can protect up to 1 terabyte of code and data in private memory areas called enclaves. At the same time, Ice Lake chips also feature cryptographic acceleration which promises to allow the chip to offer both security and performance. This will be especially important for businesses – like online retailers that process millions of customer transactions per day – who need to protect sensitive information without slowing performance.
Until now, security hasn’t been a top priority for customers, according to Rebecca Weekly, Intel Senior Senior Engineer and Senior Director of Hyperscale Strategy and Execution. Customers, she recalls, were mostly concerned about performance tradeoffs. Ice Lake’s built-in security features change that equation and align with growing consumer awareness of the importance of digital security.
“As individuals are increasingly aware of privacy, of the desire to keep their data clean, and not to have their experiences potentially manipulated … we are going to see a massive shift” in favor of secure environments, predicts Rebecca Weekly, interviewed by . “We’re empowering users to take back cloud security and the security of their data, and there’s no excuse not to, because it’s so much better. “
Note that more than 800 cloud service providers around the world are already running Intel Xeon Scalable processors, and “all of the largest cloud service providers” plan to offer cloud services powered by Ice Lake in 2021, Intel said. The founder also claims that more than 15 major telecommunications equipment manufacturers and communications service providers are preparing POCs and network deployments with Ice Lake.