Intel Unleashes 56-Core Cascade Lake Xeons, Optane DC Memory, Agilex FGPAs To Accelerate AI And Big Data


Intel is launching its latest salvo of data-centric products today, targeting a wide range of workloads and applications. You may think that means a fresh batch of powerful Xeons are on the way – and you’d be correct but there’s more. Today marks the official arrival of Intel’s Cascade Lake, many-core 2nd Generation Xeon Scalable Series Processors, but the company is also announcing or launching a plethora of adjacent products including new FPGAs, innovative network controllers, a new server chassis platform, and Optane DC Persistent memory. And along with those powerful Xeon Scalable Series Processors, more specialized Xeon-D series products, which are designed for all sorts of workloads from low-power to network edge applications, are incoming as well.

xeon scalable architecture

The star of the show is Cascade Lake. Cascade Lake is the successor to Skylake-SP, and it incorporates a number of key updates and enhancements. The core CPU architecture, however, is foundationally very similar. Cascade Lake features a newly overhauled integrated memory controller that adds support for Optane DC Persistent memory, new Vector Neural Network Instructions, hardware mitigations for a few Spectre and Meltdown variants, and new multi-chip packages that double the maximum number of cores per socket over the previous-gen to 56. The CPU cores themselves are largely unchanged, though.

intel data centric launch

As mentioned, Intel is launching a many pronged assault targeting many different markets and potential use cases. We will attempt to provide details and some background of the key announcements on the pages ahead, but the slide above breaks down the key products Intel is launching or announcing today. One of the products we won’t delve too deeply into is the dual-port Intel Optane DC SSD. That product is very similar to the existing Optane DC P4800X SSD, but is equipped with dual ports to maximize performance and resiliency / reliability (a picture of the actual drive is embedded on the last page here if…

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