CHIPMAKER Intel has refreshed its Xeon E7 multi-core processor family for data centres with a focus on memory support for the growing demand for data analytics.
The Ivy Bridge architecture 22nm Xeon E7 v2 is built for up to 32-socket servers, with configurations supporting up to 15 processing cores and up to 1.5TB of memory per socket. Intel claims that the processor family achieves twice the average performance of the previous generation. The chips also have a much larger 37.5MB L3 cache and hyperthreading support.
However, the biggest upgrade Intel identified in the release of the Xeon E7 v2 is its ability to support larger amounts of memory. "As time has gone by software wants more and more memory, with this generation of the CPU, it supports up to 6TB of dynamic RAM in a 4 socket silicon," Intel Data Centre and Connect Systems marketing chief for EMEA Alan Priestly told The INQUIRER.
"Why this is important, if you look at the types of workloads that people are starting to run now, they're running lots of big databases and they want to bring those databases into memory performance and what's driving this is this big data analytics transition, where we are trying to analyse more and more data, faster."
Priestly highlighted that Intel customers still consider 6TB of memory "not enough" and they want 12TB or 24TB because data centre workloads are so large and they want to put them all into memory to run the analytics fast enough. He said Intel's new processor line is targeting the data analytics market, which is constantly evolving.
With up to 50 percent more cores and threads and 25 percent more cache, the Xeon E7 v2 is said to offer faster processing running mission-critical analytics applications. The processor also has the ability to switch between performance mode for higher I/O and bandwidth and lockstep mode for "sophisticated reliability capabilities essential for some business-critical applications", Intel said.
There are also a number of hardware-embedded security features built into the Xeon E7 v2 line, including Intel Data Protection Technology with Secure Key and Intel Platform Protection Technology with OS Guard for faster and more secure encryption, along with improved protection against malware.
Intel will reveal more details about the Xeon E7 in the US later tonight, so check back for updates. The Xeon E7 v2 is available now with OEMs to announce availability in the near future. µ
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