Intel Aims Latest Xeon E7 Chips at Analytics, Real-Time Processing
The processors are aimed at four- to eight-socket servers, though can support up to 32 sockets, she said. Intel also has cut in half the number of chips in the family. The Xeon E7 v3 portfolio offers 12 CPUs in four segments: Basic, Standard, Advanced and Segment Optimized for such workloads as databases, low power and high-performance computing (HPC). They vary in the number of cores they have (from four to 18), their speeds (1.9GHz to 3.2GHz) and their power envelopes (115w to 165w), as well as pricing ($1,224 to $7,175). Intel also has simplified the naming structure—those chips with the naming system 88xx are aimed at eight-socket systems, while the 48xx chips target four-socket servers. Intel's new chip is a big deal for the company and the industry because of the performance gains, according to Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst with Insight64. Intel was probably startled by what IBM was able to do with Power8 and was able to push what the Xeon E7 v3 could do to respond, Brookwood told eWEEK. It gives Intel an even stronger position in the high-end market that once had been dominated by RISC-based systems, and the TSX technology was able to significantly boost performance. He noted that SAP optimized its HANA in-memory software for the next Xeon E7 chips, and that Cloudera has done the same with its Hadoop big data solutions. However, Brookwood said he also expects other enterprise software makers—such as Oracle—to follow suit.The new chips offer system makers significant advantages, Brookwood said. They have big performance gains, "and because they have the same thermal envelope [as the previous version], their [servers'] performance-per-watt will improve," he said. "This is as close to a free lunch as you can get from an OEM perspective." Those OEMs are responding. Bryant said there are 17 system makers—from Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo to Dell, Oracle, Fujitsu, Cisco System and ZTE—that are developing 45 systems that will be powered by new processors.
"It's just mind-boggling what Intel has been able to do," he said. "Everything was improved in a reasonably coherent manner."