Intel releases 3rd-gen Xeon Scalable processor

Intel is trying to wrest back leadership from AMD with a host of new features, massive core count, and 40 new chips tailored for three different markets.

intel xeon 3rd gen scalable processors
Intel

Intel today launched the third generation of its Xeon Scalable server-processor line with more than three dozen new chips built on its long-overdue 10-nanometer manufacturing process and featuring a host of specialized features for security and AI.

The new chips were developed under the codename Ice Lake and were long in coming, due to the delays Intel had getting its manufacturing process down to 10nm. AMD, through its TSMC manufacturing partner, is at 7nm and its Epyc processors are slowly but increasingly taking market share from Intel.

Intel says the Ice Lake series has a 20% improvement in the number of instructions that can be carried out per clock cycle over the prior generation, thanks to the smaller process node letting them cram more transistors into the package.

One measure is that the new top-of-line Xeon Platinum 8380 has 40 cores with 80 threads at a base frequency of 2.3Ghz. The prior top of the line had 28 cores/56 threads. Intel says customers should expect an average 46% performance improvement in “popular data-center workloads” when compared with its previous-generation server CPUs. Compared with a five-year-old server, Ice Lake-based machines will perform 2.65 times faster, Intel says.

The platform supports up to 6TB 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.

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