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8 Big Intel Data Center Announcements: From Cooper Lake To Xe

Dylan Martin

The semiconductor giant just made several announcements for its data center business, including the launch of its new Xeon Scalable processors and Optane Persistent Memory modules as well as new disclosures around Intel's upcoming Xe GPUs and Habana AI processors.

Sapphire Rapids CPUs, Movidius, Xe GPU, Habana AI Processors

While Intel focused most of its attention on new Xeon, Optane, Stratix and SSD products for its data center update, the chipmaker provided some updates on future products.

For Intel's next generation of Xeon processors, code-named Sapphire Rapids, company executive Lisa Spelman told reporters that the chipmaker plans to launch the new CPUs next year for servers ranging from one to eight sockets. She said the company has successfully powered on its first Sapphire Rapids processor, a major milestone, and that the new lineup will include expanded artificial intelligence capabilities, namely a new feature called Intel Advanced Matrix Extensions, or AMX.

"It will further increase the training and the inference performance as well and continue to improve that total cost of ownership for our customers, said Spelman, who is vice president and general manager of Intel's Xeon and Memory Group.

On the GPU front, Spelman said that some partners are testing the chipmaker's upcoming line of Xe GPUs through the company's OneAPI DevCloud, which allows developers to test different kinds of hardware on different kinds of workloads. The company's Xe GPU architecture is expected to yield products across multiple segments, including data center and gaming.

Spelman did not provide an updated timeline for the Xe GPU products, but the company has previously said that it would launch a 7-nanometer data center GPU in 2021.

As for Habana, the new artificial intelligence hardware unit created through a $2 billion acquisition last year, Intel is sampling the division's deep learning training processors with large cloud service providers. In addition, the company has started an early access program for a third generation of Intel's Movidius visual processing unit, which is designed for computer vision applications.

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