Calling it the biggest data centre and network processor advancement in a decade, Intel has unveiled its new Intel Xeon Scalable processors, providing businesses with the performance to handle compute-hungry tasks including real-time analytics, virtualised infrastructure and high-performance computing.

“Data centre and network infrastructure is undergoing massive transformations to support emerging use cases like precision medicine, artificial intelligence and agile network services paving the path to 5G,” says Navin Shenoy, executive vice-president and GM of the Intel Data Center Group.

“Intel Xeon Scalable processors represent the biggest data centre advancement in a decade.”

Today’s general availability announcement follows Intel’s largest data centre early ship program with more than 500 000 Intel Xeon Scalable processors already sold to leading enterprise, high-performance computing, cloud and communication services provider customers.

Users will benefit from a dramatic performance increase of 1,65-times on average over previous generation technology – the Xeon Scalable already holds 58 world records and Intel expects more to come.

Intel Xeon Scalable processors also provide businesses with a rich suite of platform feature innovations that deliver performance increases across key workloads. These include:

* Artificial intelligence: Delivers 2,2-times higher deep learning training and inference compared to the previous generation, and 113-times deep learning performance gains compared to a three-year-old non-optimised server system when combined with software optimisations speeding delivery of AI-fuelled services.

* Networking: Delivers up to 2,5-times increased IPSec forwarding rate for key networking applications compared to previous generation when using Intel QuickAssist and DPDK increasing the value derived from network transformation.

* Virtualisation: Operates up to an estimated 4,2-times more virtual machines (VMs) versus a four-year-old system for rapid service deployment, server utilisation, lower energy costs and space efficiency spurring enterprise data centre modernisation.

* High performance computingProvides up to a 2-times FLOPs/clock improvement with Intel AVX-512 as well as integrated Intel Omni-Path Architecture ports, delivering improved compute capability, I/O flexibility and memory bandwidth to accelerate discovery and innovation.

* Storage: Processes up to 5-times more IOPS while reducing latency by up to 70% versus out-of-the-box NVMe SSDs when combined with Intel Optane SSDs and Storage Performance Development Kit (SPDK), making data more accessible for advanced analytics.

The Intel Xeon Scalable processor features a new core microarchitecture, new on-die interconnects and memory controllers.

The resulting platform optimises performance as well as the reliability, security and manageability necessary in data centres and networking infrastructure.

* Performance: The Intel Xeon Scalable processors deliver an overall performance increase up to 1,65-times versus the previous generation, and up to 5-times OLTP warehouse workloads versus the current install base – accelerating today’s modern-day workloads including modelling and simulation, machine learning, HPC and digital content creation. These performance gains are enabled through new features such as Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel AVX-512), which boost performance of computationally intensive tasks, a new Intel Mesh Architecture for reduced system latency, Intel QuickAssist Technology for hardware acceleration of cryptography and data compression operations and integrated high-speed fabric with Intel Omni-Path Architecture for cost-effective deployment of HPC clusters.

* Scalability: Optimised to meet the wide range of performance demands in data centres and communications networks, the Intel Xeon Scalable processors offer up to 28 cores and up to 6Tb of system memory (4-socket systems), and scale to support 2-socket through 8-socket systems and beyond, powering entry-level workloads to the most mission-critical applications.

* Agility: Compute, network and storage performance and software ecosystem optimisations of the Intel Xeon Scalable processors make it ideal for software defined, TCO (total cost of ownership)-optimized, data centres that dynamically self-provision resources — on premise, through the network, and in the cloud — based on workload needs.

* Security: Data protection through full encryption has long carried a significant performance overhead. Application can now run with less than 1% overhead with data-at-rest encryption turned on. The new Intel Xeon Scalable processor also delivers a 3,1-times performance improvement generation-over-generation in cryptography performance. Intel has extended processor security features with Intel Key Protection Technology delivering enhanced protection to security key attacks. In addition Intel Xeon Scalable is designed to secure the platform with further advancements in hardware root of trust.

Intel also introduced Intel Select Solutions, a solutions brand aimed at simplifying and speeding the deployment of data centre and network infrastructure, with initial solutions delivery on Canonical Ubuntu, Microsoft SQL 16 and VMware vSAN 6.6.

Intel Select Solutions is an expansion of the company’s investment in Intel Builders ecosystem collaborations and will deliver a choice of Intel-verified configurations to the market, enabling customers to speed return on investment in Intel Xeon Scalable processor-based infrastructure for user-prioritised workloads.