Intel delivers faster and more efficient chips for data centres and 5G networks

07 April 2021 | Antony Savvas

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Intel has launched an updated range of data centre and 5G network chips that promise to deliver much faster data throughput with the aid of integrated AI support.  

The new third Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors (code-named “Ice Lake”) are already being integrated into the data centre solutions provided to customers by Intel's partners, as the chip maker strives to win back market share it has lost to the likes of AMD, Nvidia and Broadcom.

Intel claims the processors deliver a significant performance increase compared with the prior generation, with an “average 46% improvement on popular data centre workloads”, it says.

The chips include Intel SGX technology for built-in security and Intel Crypto Acceleration and Intel DL Boost for AI acceleration. “These new capabilities enable customers to accelerate deployments across cloud, AI, enterprise, HPC, networking, security and edge applications”, said Intel.

Leveraging Intel 10 nanometer (nm) technology, the processors deliver up to 40 cores per processor and “up to 2.65 times higher average performance gain compared with a five-year-old system”, added Intel.

Intel platforms using the chips support up to six terabytes of system memory per socket, up to 8 channels of DDR4-3200 memory per socket and up to 64 lanes of PCIe Gen4 per socket.

Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Platforms Group at Intel, said: “Our 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable platform is the most flexible and performant in our history, designed to handle the diversity of workloads from the cloud to the network to the edge.”

The processors deliver “on average 62% more performance” on a range of broadly-deployed network and 5G workloads over the previous generation, said Intel.

Nokia, for instance, has said it will be integrating the new chips into its Nokia AirFrame data centre offering to “increase compute capacity, achieve faster data lanes and reach higher memory capacity”.

The integration will better support Nokia’s 5G AirScale Cloud RAN and 5G Cloud Core solutions, said the Intel partner.

Pasi Toivanen, head of edge cloud at Nokia, said: “5G networks need to support billions of devices and machines and this massive increase in volume and scale means that existing infrastructure and components must evolve rapidly, adopting technologies and techniques to enable much quicker 5G deployments.”