Intel Readies 18-Core Xeon “Broadwell-EP” Microprocessors for Launch in 2015 – Report

Intel Speeds Up Xeon Roadmap to Bring In More Speed and Features

by Anton Shilov
12/19/2013 | 11:10 PM

Some may think that Intel Corp. has slowed down execution of its roadmap when it concerns mainstream microprocessors for desktops and notebooks. In fact, there are some delays with the code-named Broadwell chips and client platforms in general. But slides from a new Intel Xeon roadmap prove that the chip giant is not slowing down on the server front; quite opposite, it is accelerating.

 

The foreseeable future of Intel Xeon includes new processors based on Ivy Bridge-EP/EX designs, such as Xeon EP for four-socket servers or Xeon EX for multi-socket enterprise-class machines, just as expected. But a more distant – second half of 2014 – second half of 2015 – future of the world’s most used commercial processor looks somewhat more exciting from many points of view. The Xeon chips due in the next couple of years will not only get new micro-architectures along with innovative capabilities, but will also demonstrate unprecedented core-count.

Based on slides from Intel’s roadmap published by VR-Zone web-site, Intel is currently working on Xeon E5-2600 v3 “Haswell-EP” with up to 14 cores due in late 2014 as well as Xeon E5-2600 v4 “Broadwell-EP” with up to 18 cores chips due in the second half of 2015.

Both future Xeon E5 microprocessors will have a lot in common despite different micro-architecture of the cores. The new Xeons E5 for dual-socket configurations will sport quad-channel DDR4 memory controllers, 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes (enough to support a Xeon Phi as well as a high-end SSD) and two QPI 1.1 buses. The code-named Broadwell-EP will have slightly better memory controller with support for 2.4GHz DDR4 as well as 3DS LRDIMMs.

Intel’s own benchmarks imply that the future Xeon E5-series microprocessors will be 25% - 80% faster compared to existing Xeon E5 “Ivy Bridge-EP” thanks to boosts from increased core-count, enhanced micro-architecture and other innovations. It should be noted that there will be Xeon-EX enterprise-class offerings with even higher core-count and even richer capabilities (including those that will be inherited from Itanium chips).

Besides massive speed bumps, expect the forthcoming Xeon chips to include improved virtualization capabilities thanks to new features like page modification logging, posted interrupts, cache quality of service monitoring & enforcement, and memory bandwidth monitoring. In addition, Intel is projected to implement new management and security technologies.

Both Xeon E5-2600 v3 “Haswell-EP” and Xeon E5-2600 v4 “Broadwell-EP” will rely on Intel C610 chipset (code-named Wellsburg platform) and will feature generally similar capabilities when it comes to input/output interfaces.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.