Nov. 15, 2011, 3:30 p.m. EST
Intel Reveals Details of Next-Generation High-Performance Computing Platforms
Intel(R) Xeon(R) E5 Processor Debuts on TOP500 List; First Intel(R) Many Integrated Core Co-processor Demonstrated to Deliver Performance Above 1 TFLOPS
This will seriously affect Nvidia and AMD's gpu hpc advance given they are both two process generations away from matching this. Nvidia's 22nm Maxwell is supposed to match this performance but this is just a paper design at the moment. First real competitive use of the 22nm trigate process. Worse still for the gpus, this just looks like a standalone multi-core x86 chip to the o/s so no fancy application porting required just software tuning to use all the cores effectively.
'The first presentation of the first silicon of "Knights Corner" co-processor showed that Intel architecture is capable of delivering more than 1 TFLOPs of double precision floating point performance (as measured by the Double-precision, General Matrix-Matrix multiplication benchmark -- DGEMM*). This was the first demonstration of a single processing chip capable of achieving such a performance level.
"Intel first demonstrated a Teraflop supercomputer utilizing 9,680 Intel(R) Pentium Pro(R) Processors in 1997 as part of Sandia Lab's "ASCI RED" system," Hazra said. "Having this performance now in a single chip based on Intel MIC architecture is a milestone that will once again be etched into HPC history."
"Knights Corner," the first commercial Intel MIC architecture product, will be manufactured using Intel's latest 3-D Tri-Gate 22nm transistor process and will feature more than 50 cores. When available, Intel MIC products will offer both high performance from an architecture specifically designed to process highly parallel workloads, and compatibility with existing x86 programming model and tools.
Hazra said that the "Knights Corner" co-processor is very unique as, unlike traditional accelerators, it is fully accessible and programmable like fully functional HPC compute node, visible to applications as though it was a computer that runs its own Linux*-based operating system independent of the host OS.
One of the benefits of Intel MIC architecture is the ability to run existing applications without the need to port the code to a new programming environment. This will allow scientists to use both CPU and co-processor performance simultaneously with existing x86 based applications, dramatically saving time, cost and resources that would otherwise be needed to rewrite them to alternative proprietary languages.'
Okay this is more than a bit confusing but this is the new Xeon E5 line which has a number of processors under it. It replaces the older Xeon 5600 line.
It's a huge ramp up for the big data centers because the payback can be as quick as 5 months because of increased performance and power reductions.
Some of the new processors are named Romley and some of the processors starting in April will move to the Ivy Bridge configuration.
This is pretty much about servers and supercomputers. And it's a very big deal. Both parts. Intel expects a very big ramp up in supercomputers. By 2018 they expect just the top 100 computers in the world to be using 8 million CPUs.
So, bottom line is that this is a "server" thing. There will be Sandy Bridge versions in Q1 and then Ivy Bridge in Q2. Mostly what you will see for the time being is "Romley" followed by "Carlow" in April.
From a link:
"Two Xeon E5 families, previously scheduled for the 4th quarter 2011, are Xeon E5-1600 and E5-2600 for Romley-WS and Romley-EP platforms. Xeon E5-1600 series for one-way workstations works in socket R (socket 2011) motherboards, and consists of three models, E5-1620, E5-1650 and E5-1660. Xeon E5-2600, also compatible with socket R, is aimed at dual-processor workstations and servers, and contains 17 different dual-, quad-, six- and eight-core models with clock speeds up to 3.3 GHz. Both families will be released in Q1 2012. Despite the delay, there were no changes to E5-1600 and E5-2600 microprocessor line-ups.
Xeon E5-2400 and E5-4600 families were previously scheduled for the first quarter of 2012. Xeon E5-2400 CPUs from Romley-EN platform support single- and dual-processor configurations, and require socket B2 (socket 1356). Xeon E5-4600 CPUs for Romley EP 4S platform can be used in quad-processor servers, and they fit socket 2011. Both families were delayed, and they will be launched in Q2 2012.
In March or April 2012, Intel will introduce Carlow platform with Xeon E3-1200 v2 processors, based on Ivy Bridge micro-architecture. The E3-1200 v2 family will be coupled with C216 (Panther Point) chipset, and will utilize socket 1155. At this time we don't have any information on specific models from this family."