by Anton Shilov
04/05/2011 | 01:53 PM
Intel Corp. on Tuesday officially released a new family of Intel Xeon processors designed for enterprise applications. The new chips feature up to ten cores, up to 30MB of cache as well as advanced security and reliability features. The Xeon E7-series chips are produced using 32nm process technology and are based on Westmere micro-architecture.
"Intel has been changing the economics for mission-critical computing server deployments for more than a decade, and today we are raising the bar yet again. The new Intel Xeon processor E7 family delivers record breaking performance with powerful new security, reliability and energy efficiency enhancements. The industry momentum we're seeing for this new server processor architecture is unparalleled in Intel's history," said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's data center group.
The new Intel Xeon E7 processor family contains 18 new processors with six, eight or ten cores for two-, four- and eight-socket servers, and is expandable to servers with 256 sockets. Thanks to micro-architectural enhancements, clock-speed improve as well as higher amount of cores, the new chips deliver up to 40% greater performance than the Intel Xeon 7500-series processor. Concurrently, to help address rising energy costs, the new Xeon chips include Intel Intelligent Power technology that dynamically reduces idle power consumption of the chip based on the workload while also delivering advanced processor power-management capabilities.
Intel Xeon E7 chips feature Advanced Encryption Standard New Instruction (AES-NI) allows systems to quickly encrypt and decrypt data running over a range of applications and transactions, while Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT) creates a secure platform at boot-up by protecting applications from malicious threats. Together, these security features can ensure that virtualized environments are more reliably secure when they are launched, migrated or at rest, as well as experience better performance and functionality.
The new generation Xeon multi-processor processors for servers are compatible with LGA1567 platforms. Just like the predecessors, the code-named Westmere-EX chip has up to four point-to-point quick path interconnect links to connect to other processors as well as system I/O operating at up to 6.4GT/s. The new-generation Xeon E7 processors have four integrated memory controllers, but those controllers do not connect to DDR3 memory modules directly, but connect to special buffers instead. A brief explanation indicates that the new memory technology is similar to FB-DIMMs with AMB put onto the mainboard. Each new Xeon socket supports up to 16 DIMMs.
IDC World Wide Server Tracker, Q4 2010
The new lineup of server CPUs includes numerous RAS (reliability, availability, serviceability) capabilities, including machine check architecture (MCA) recovery, inter-socket memory mirroring, fine grained memory mirroring, corrected machine check interrupt (CMCI), corrupt data containment mode, electronically isolated (static) partitioning and many others features that are found on expensive RISC or Itanium machines.
"The days of IT organizations being forced to deploy expensive, closed RISC architectures for mission-critical applications are nearing an end," added Mr. Skaugen.
The Xeon processor E7-8800/4800/2800 families range in price from $774 to $4616 in quantities of 1000. The Xeon processor E3-1200 family ranges in price from $189 to $612 in quantities of 1000.
Starting today, system manufacturers from around the world are expected to announce more than 35 Xeon processor E7 family-based platforms. These manufacturers include Bull, Cisco, Cray, Dawning, Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, Huawei, IBM, Inspur, Lenovo, NEC, Oracle, PowerLeader, Quanta, SGI, Supermicro and Unisys.
Numerous enterprise software vendors also support Xeon processor E7 family-based platforms, including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Red Hat, SAP AG and VMware.
Intel also announced today the Intel Xeon processor E3-1200 family, an entry-level server processor built to meet the unique demands of small business applications, ranging from collaboration tools to storage and back-up applications. With up to 30% greater performance over the previous generation, the Xeon processor E3-1200 product family is faster and provides higher reliability than a desktop computer running similar applications. Support for Error Correcting Code (ECC) memory ensures system reliability by preventing glitches that cause data breaches and downtime, and with small businesses facing a harsher climate of security threats the Xeon processor E3-1200 product family helps ensure the integrity of valuable data with Intel AES-NI and Intel TXT.