Intel has announced the launch of a new entry-level Xeon processor, the Xeon E-2100, and released more detail on Cascade Lake, its Xeon platform due to launch in the first half of next year and bringing with it direct competition for AMD's Epyc server products.
Announced over the weekend, Intel's Xeon E-2100 targets entry-level server platforms for smaller cloud- and virtualisation-based workloads. Its main feature over the existing Xeon parts is the inclusion of Intel's Software Guard Extensions (SGX), presently exclusive to the Xeon E processor range and previously priced out of the entry-level end of the market, which it claims provides 'an additional layer of hardware-enhanced security measures when used with properly enabled cloud applications' - important, given the company's continued vulnerability to side-channel security flaws up to and including the newly-discovered PortSmash.
The company has also revealed additional details on Cascade Lake, which it has itself framed as a direct competitor to rival AMD's Epyc processor family. Due to launch in the first half of 2019, Cascade Lake brings with it the claim of considerable performance gains over both Intel's previous-generation parts and AMD's Epyc - though the latter, it must be noted, rather unfairly compares Intel's as-yet unreleased 48-core Cascade Lake design to AMD's 32-core Epyc 7601, released in June this year, using 'processor projections' rather than actual testing and with simultaneous multithreading (SMT) disabled on the AMD part limiting it to 32 threads per chip.
On this somewhat skewed playing field, Intel 'projects' that Cascade Lake will outperform AMD's Epyc 7601 by 3.4-fold in the Linpack benchmark and 1.3-fold in Stream Triad, while outperforming its own 28-core Intel Xeon Scalable 8180 by 1.21-fold and 1.83-fold respectively. Extensions focused on artificial and machine intelligence inference acceleration, meanwhile, promise a 17-fold increase in images-per-second compared to the Xeon Scalable 8180.
'We remain highly focused on delivering a wide range of workload-optimised solutions that best meet our customers' system requirements,' claims Lisa Spelman, general manager for Xeon and data centre marketing, of Intel's latest launch. 'The addition of Cascade Lake advanced performance CPUs and Xeon E-2100 processors to our Intel Xeon processor line-up once again demonstrates our commitment to delivering performance-optimised solutions to a wide range of customers.'
More information on Cascade Lake and the Xeon E-2100 can be found in Intel's media briefing deck (PDF warning).
October 15 2020 | 14:00