Intel Latest Xeon Phi Chips Coming to Supercomputers in 2016
At the SC 15 supercomputer show, Intel officials talk about the growth of its HPC Scalable Systems Framework with Xeon Phi and Omni-Path Fabric.Supercomputers armed with the next generation of Intel's many-core Xeon Phi processor will begin appearing next year, though some hardware makers currently are running pre-production versions of the chip in systems as they gear up for supercomputer deployments. At the same time, Intel officials at the SC 15 supercomputer show in Austin, Texas, on Nov. 16 also announced that the company's Omni-Path Architecture fabric technology designed for high-performance computing (HPC) environments also is launching, bringing improved performance to the workloads running in clusters. Both the 14-nanometer "Knights Landing" Xeon Phi chip and Omni-Path Architecture are part of Intel's larger HPC Scalable System Framework (SSF), an effort unveiled in April that officials said offers organizations the technology they need to create HPC-level environments, with a focus on the overall system rather than the components. The framework spans everything from smaller clusters to supercomputers for on-premises and cloud-based workloads, and includes other Intel technology, including Xeon processors, Intel solid-state drives (SSDs), Lustre tools, silicon photonics and Intel's Ethernet offerings. More than a dozen system vendors—including Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Cray, Fujitsu and SGI—are embracing the SSF initiative, which will include reference designs and architectures and validation tools coming to market in the first quarter of next year. Keys to the effort will be Knights Landing and Omni-Path.
Intel first rolled out Xeon Phi in 2011, with the introduction of its Knights Ferry offering, a 22nm 60-core chip. It was an x86-based coprocessor that was designed to be used as an accelerator along the lines of GPU accelerators from Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices, which help improve system performance while keep power consumption down.