Intel Introduces New Xeon E5 Platform: Eight Cores, Integrated I/O, New Micro-Architecture

Intel's New Xeon Chips for Mainstream Servers Bring In Breakthrough Performance, Features

by Anton Shilov
03/06/2012 | 08:52 PM

Intel Corp. on Tuesday formally introduced its brand new Xeon E5 server platform that promises new levels of performance along with a set of capabilities never-before-seen on mainstream x86 servers. The new processors are not only at the heart of servers and workstations, but will also power the next generation of storage and communication systems from leading vendors around the world.


Intel Xeon E5 (previously known as Sandy Bridge-EP) microprocessors feature up to eight Sandy Bridge x86 cores with Hyper-Threading, quad-channel memory controller, up to 20MB of cache and other advantages, like AVX, TXT and so on peculiarities of SNB micro-architecture. The Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family is also the first server processors to integrate the I/O controller supporting PCI Express 3.0 directly into the microprocessor (which reduces I/O latency up to 30% compared to prior generations).

The new chips also feature Intel integrated I/O (IIO) technology that moves the I/O controller from a separate chip on the motherboard directly onto the processor die; as well as Intel data direct I/O (Intel DDIO) mechanism that allows Intel Ethernet controllers and other adapters to route I/O traffic directly to the processor cache, which reduces trips to system memory to further lower power use and I/O latency.

The new LGA2011 dual-socket platform from Intel also supports higher speed QPI interconnect (6.40GHz, 7.20GHz, 8.0GHz), up to 768GB/24 DIMMs per system (with up to 1.60GHz clock-speed) and so on. In addition, the chipmaker introduced Intel Node Manager (server power management technology runs dynamic, policy-based management algorithms to improve data center energy efficiency) as well as Intel Data Center Manager (power management solution stack builds on the Intel Node Manager and a customer's existing management console to aggregate node data across the entire rack or data center to track metrics, historical data and provide alerts to IT managers).

"The growth in cloud computing and connected devices is transforming the way businesses benefit from IT products and services. For businesses to capitalize on these innovations, the industry must address unprecedented demand for efficient, secure and high-performing datacenter infrastructure. The Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family is designed to address these challenges by offering unparalleled, balanced performance across compute, storage and network, while reducing operating costs," said Diane Bryant, Intel vice president and general manager of the datacenter and connected systems group.

Starting today, system manufacturers from around the world are expected to announce hundreds of Intel Xeon processor E5 family-based platforms. These manufacturers include Acer, Appro, Asus, Bull, Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi, Huawei, IBM, Inspur, Lenovo, NEC, Oracle, Quanta, SGI, Sugon, Supermicro and Unisys.

The Xeon processor E5-2600 product family will be offered with 17 different parts which range in price from $198 to $2050 in quantities of 1000. Additionally three single-socket Intel Xeon processor E5-1600 parts will be offered for workstations which range in price from $284 to $1080.