Intel Unveils New Xeon E5-2600 Server Processors


Intel on Tuesday launched its Xeon E5-2600 series of low-power Sandy Bridge server processors, said by the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip maker to better accommodate data traffic growth in the cloud while also minimizing power consumption.

Intel said its next-generation Xeon E5-2600 processors support up to eight cores and 768 GB of system memory. The new line-up also delivers a performance boost of 80 percent compared to the previous-generation Xeon 5600 series, and Intel’s Advanced Vector Extension (AVX) technology offers double the performance when running high performance computing (HPC) computing tasks.

The new Xeon series may deliver a hefty jump in performance, but it doesn’t do so at the cost of efficiency, Intel said.

As part of a larger initiative to drive down data center total cost of ownership (TCO), the Xeon E5-2600 consumes 50 percent less power than the Xeon 5600 series. What’s more, Intel’s Node Manager and Data Center Manager solutions are also supported, meaning data center operators can track and manage power usage in real-time.

According to Intel, the new Xeon E5-2600 series was developed in response to the rapid rise in data center IP traffic and cloud computing adoption. The company forecasted that data centers will support approximately 15 billion connected devices and over 3 billion connected users by 2015. The amount of data center traffic, as a result, is projected to grow by 33 percent annually, meaning each user will generate more than 4 GB of traffic every day.

To accommodate these growth rates, the chip maker expects the global number of cloud servers to more than triple in the next three years.

"The growth in cloud computing and connected devices is transforming the way businesses benefit from IT products and services," said Diane Bryant, Intel vice president and general manager of the Datacenter and Connected Systems Group, in a statement. "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."

In addition to higher performance and lower energy costs, the new Xeon E5-2600 series is said by Intel to enable more efficient data flow and increased data center bandwidth with its Integrated I/O and Data Direct I/O technologies. By allowing Ethernet controllers to push I/O data flows directly to the processor cache, traffic flow into system memory -- along with the power needed to support this process -- is reduced.

Intel says its E5-2600 family is the first server processor to integrate an I/O controller that supports PCI Express 3.0, which can reduce latency up to 30 percent and triple the flow of data into and out of the processor.

Intel partners including HP, Dell, Acer and IBM are expected to introduce new Xeon E5 family-based platforms starting this week. HP started the trend Monday by unveiling a new line of E5-based HP Z Workstations.

The new Xeon E5-2600 processors range in price from $198 to $2,050, Intel said. Three single-socket Intel Xeon E5-1600 processors, ranging from $284 to $1,080, are also available for workstations.