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Intel To Stop Selling Xeon Scalable CPUs With Omni-Path Integration

The discontinuation of Intel Xeon Scalable processors with Omni-Path integration are another sign the semiconductor giant is shifting focus away from the high-speed interconnect technology that targets high-performance computing.

Intel is discontinuing its first-generation Xeon Scalable processors that come with integration for the chipmaker's Omni-Path Architecture — another sign that the company is shifting focus away from the high-speed interconnect technology that targets high-performance computing workloads.

The Santa Clara, Calif. -based company disclosed the discontinuation plans in a Product Change Notification sent to customers and partners on Tuesday, listing eight processors ranging from the Xeon Gold 5117F to the Xeon Platinum 8176F.

[Related: Intel Extends 40 Percent To 50 Percent Price Cuts To New Xeon W Workstation CPUs]

In the notice, Intel said the processors with Omni-Path integration, denoted by an "F" suffix, were discontinued due to market demand shifting to other "other Intel products." Customers and partners can order the processors until April 24, 2020, with final shipments going out Oct. 9 later that year.

The other processors impacted include the Xeon Gold 6126F, the Xeon Gold 6130F, the Xeon Gold 6138F, the Xeon Gold 6142F, the Xeon Gold 6148F and the Xeon Platinum 8160F.

“For customers choosing to deploy OmniPath Architecture 100 (OPA100) we are recommending a discrete option,” an Intel spokesperson told CRN. “OPA100 continues to be a productive part of Intel’s data center portfolio, and we continue to sell, maintain and support OPA100 with our 1st Gen Xeon Scalable processors and 2nd Gen Xeon Scalable processors.”

The discontinuation of the Xeon Scalable processors with Omni-Path integration comes after Intel in late July confirmed to CRN that the chipmaker had canceled development on a second-generation of its Omni-Path Architecture fabric, also known as the OPA 200 series, which would have featured a 200-Gbps speed versus the OPA 100's 100-Gbps speed.

While Intel said it would continue to sell, support and maintain the first-generation Omni-Path, partners told CRN that the lack of a future roadmap meant it would be difficult to further invest in the Omni-Path product line.

"If there's not a road map, it wouldn't make sense to commit down Omni-Path's route," one partner said in July. "It's a one-trick pony, so to speak."

However, Intel said it will continue to invest in connectivity technologies such as Ethernet and silicon photonics while the company explores high-performance Ethernet switches as a potential alternative to Omni-Path.

Intel introduced the Xeon processors with Omni-Path integration in 2017 as part of the company's first-generation Xeon Scalable lineup. Unlike other processors in Skylake family of server processors, the Xeon "F" processors included a printed circuit board that could connect to an Omni-Path Host Fabric Adapter.

However, the company signaled a change in strategy this year when it didn't announce any second-generation Xeon Scalable processors that would feature the integration.

The chipmaker's Omni-Path fabric faced tough competition from 20-year-old interconnect vendor Mellanox, which GPU powerhouse Nvidia is in the process of acquiring. Mellanox is already shipping its 200-Gbps HDR InfiniBand interconnect while a future 400-Gbps version is in the works.

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