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CRN’s 2021 Products Of The Year

Wade Tyler Millward, Kyle Alspach

CRN staff compiled the top partner-friendly products that launched over the past year, then turned to solution providers to choose the winners.

PROCESSORS

INTEL XEON SCALABLE, 3RD GEN

WINNER: OVERALL

Intel’s latest line of third-generation Xeon Scalable Processors delivers significant innovation in artificial intelligence, cryptography, high-performance computing and other workloads. The Ice Lake Xeon Scalable Processors are the first server chips to use Intel’s 10-nanometer manufacturing process, bringing an increase of Xeon’s maximum core count to 40 from 28 in the previous generation. By deploying Intel’s DL Boost instruction set and software optimizations, AI performance will be improved by 74 percent over the prior generation and offer significantly enhanced performance for cryptographic algorithms. For high-performance computing workloads, Intel said it will deliver up to 18 percent faster performance than competing processors on the Linpack benchmark that is used to measure the world’s top supercomputers. The Ice Lake lineup also promises speedier performance for a range of other workloads as well, such as cloud and 5G—with 50 percent faster performance for latency-sensitive workloads in the cloud over its predecessor and up to 62 percent faster performance for 5G network workloads.

Subcategory Winner—Revenue and Profit: AMD EPYC, 3rd Gen

AMD has brought major performance gains and new security features with its latest third-generation EPYC processors, code-named Milan. The processors feature up to 64 cores and 4.1 GHz in frequency, and leverage AMD’s Zen 3 core architecture—bringing a 19 percent increase in instructions per clock as well as a larger L3 cache in each chiplet of the processor. New security features include Secure Nested Paging, which provides new protection for a guest operating system against an untrusted hypervisor.

Subcategory Winner—Customer Need: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card offers a massive jump in performance with 10,496 CUDA codes, 24 GB in GDDR6X RAM and a boost clock of 1.7 GHz. The card also comes with silencer technology, featuring a design that is 10X quieter than the previous Titan RTX while keeping the GPU significantly cooler, as well.

Finalist: Apple M1

Apple‘s first in-house Arm-based processor, the M1, has brought performance gains of up to 3.5X for the MacBook Air and up to 2.8X for the entry-level MacBook Pro, compared with previous Intel-based models. On battery life, the M1-powered MacBook Pro doubled its potential battery life to 20 hours, while the MacBook Air with M1 can gain six hours with up to 18 hours of usage.

Finalist: Xilinx Alveo SN1000

Xilinx Alveo SN1000 is a composable SmartNIC for accelerating a variety of storage, network and security workloads typically handled by the CPU. The Alveo SN1000 comes with a low-latency Xilinx XCU26 FPGA, a 16-core Arm processor, dual-QSFP ports for 10/25/100 GB/s connectivity and a 75-watt power envelope.

 
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