Intel is ready to begin the subsequent salvo within the server CPU core wars, with plans to launch two new generations of Xeon processors in 2020. Very similar to its mainstream cell plans, Intel could have a 10nm and 14nm resolution. However the place these chips follow 4 cores at most, Intel’s new server CPUs need to chase down AMD’s Epyc 64-core chips, with 38 and 48-core choices of its personal.
When AMD launched its first-generation Epyc server CPUs with as much as 32 cores and 64 threads in 2017, it pushed the boundary of what was attainable for a single socket chip. It did so once more in 2019 with the launch of Epyc Rome chips primarily based on the brand new Zen 2 structure with as much as 64 cores and 128 threads. It additionally broke new floor on PCIe lanes, providing as much as 128 per chip with every technology. Though Intel’s server efficiency was roughly comparable in numerous methods, by the numbers at the very least, it’s been taking part in catchup.
Till early 2019, all Intel may provide was 28 cores and 56 threads. Some particular, soldered variations of Cascade Lake-AP supplied up to 56, however they weren’t scalable exterior of a single socket and second-generation Epyc was simply months away from edging forward once more with 64.
The subsequent-generation(s) of Intel’s server chips aren’t set to interrupt that file, with maximums of 38 cores for the Ice Lake chips, and 48 on the Cooper Lake choice (as per WCCFTech), however they do enhance the PCIe lanes to 64. Nonetheless half that of Epyc, however it’s a step in the appropriate route.
Elsewhere, Intel seems to be aping options from AMD’s server chips an increasing number of, too. Each new CPU generations are solely scalable to 2 sockets, like Epyc. In addition they help eight-channel reminiscence, identical to Epyc does, as per HotHardware. They’re extra power-hungry than their predecessors too, identical to Epyc. However the place the AMD CPUs max out at 225 watts, the brand new Intel Cooper Lake chips can draw as a lot as 300 watts from a single chip.
These new releases will probably be excellent news for corporations which have had Intel server chips for years and wish to preserve that within the years to return. Extra cores, improved reminiscence velocity help, and a larger variety of PCIe lanes are all welcome (Ice Lake-SP will even help PCIE four.zero), however it nonetheless seems like Intel is chasing AMD’s tail. Lots of the options launched with these new chips are much less spectacular than the latest AMD bulletins, and so they’re nonetheless not slated to debut till Q2 and Q3 in 2020. That’s after we’d anticipate to see a third-generation Epyc, codenamed Milan, to be making its debut.
Scalability is one factor that Intel’s server line has had going for it within the face of Epyc’s fast improvement and enchancment, with Sky Lake and Cascade Lake techniques supplied in as much as eight-socket variants. However the brand new Cooper Lake and Ice Lake chips are restricted to only two sockets per system. That would alienate some distinctive use circumstances the place Intel might have in any other case held a bonus.
It’s additionally telling and irritating that Intel is as soon as once more splitting its product lineup with two choices in 14nm and 10nm. This is identical as we’ve seen with Comet Lake and Ice Lake on cell. Each are releasing inside months of one another, and each are labeled “10th-generation.” In that case and this one, Intel appears to be like set to introduce an expansive, however complicated lineup of , which we are able to’t assist however query. This can be yet one more instance of Intel being unable to fulfill demand for Ice Lake, so it’s seeking to unfold it throughout another new-generation of .
Whether or not that’s true or Intel simply actually needs to launch yet one more 14nm CPU line, it might be too little too late. 64-core Epyc Milan server chips in 2020 gained’t be far behind these, if not launch alongside the Ice Lake-SP choice. If that occurs, these chips will already look antiquated, as AMD strikes to 7nm+ with TSMC’s EUV expertise. Who wins ultimately is up within the air, however the ramp as much as increased and better core counts certain is enjoyable to maintain up with.