CHIPMAKER Intel is sticking more cores onto its chips, this time stuffing up to 56 cores on Xeon processors slated for 2020.
Codenamed Cooper Lake, Intel's next Xeon Platinum 9200 series of CPUs, which will join its Xeon Scalable processor family, will not only come with a bevvy of cores but will also have higher memory bandwidth and improved capabilities for artificial intelligence training and inference compared to current-gen Xeons.
"Bringing a 56-core processor into our mainline Intel Xeon Scalable processor family in the next generation will further expand our ability to address customer needs for the highest levels of performance in artificial intelligence, high performance computing and high density infrastructure," said Lisa Spelman, vice president and general manager of Data Center Marketing at Intel.
The new Xeon chips are expected to be available in the first half of 2020. No pricing has been announced, but given these are data centre-grade CPUs expect them to be out of reach of your average PC user.
But while these processors might not be in your ballpark, unless you're running a data centre or server farm, what's interesting is how Intel seems to be doing a bit of an AMD and adding increasing amounts of cores onto its silicon slices. Current-gen Core processors, for instance, have mostly had a bump in core count, with CPUs like the Core i5 moving from quad-core to six-core configurations.
As such, with the trickle-down effect of tech, core breakthroughs in the server world could trickle down to chip in the consumer and PC enthusiast arena.
Also interesting is Intel's efforts to make its next-gen Xeon chips handy at running AI workloads. This not only puts it more in a position to compete with Nvidia in that section of the data centre arena but also show there's a greater demand on having chips that can handle the compute needs of smart algorithms.
Maybe that's a precursor to the rise of the machines, or simply an indication of smart tech beginning to get smarter and more useful. µ
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