Intel launched the latest 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors (code-named “Ice Lake”)


Intel’s Navin Shenoy, executive vice president in the Data Platforms Group, and Lisa Spelman, corporate vice president in the Xeon and Memory Group, launched the latest 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors (code-named “Ice Lake”) and the latest additions to Intel’s hardware and software portfolio targeting data centers, 5G networks and intelligent edge infrastructure.

The virtual “How Wonderful Gets Done 2021” launch event featured Intel executives and ecosystem partners addressing some of today’s greatest business opportunities. The chip is designed for workloads spanning a range of markets, from the cloud to the network and the edge. Intel says every “top tier” cloud service provider will be offering services based on Ice Lake. It’s launching the chip with more than 50 OEMs building more than 250 servers based on the platform.

Intel is launching its first server products built using its advanced 10nm manufacturing process today: the 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable family of processors. 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable processors are based on the Ice Lake-SP microarchitecture, which incorporates a number of new features and enhancements. For example, core counts have been significantly increased; Intel 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors feature up to 40 cores per processor versus 28 cores with 2nd gen offerings. The 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor platform also supports up to 8 channels of DDR4-3200 memory, up to 6 terabytes of total system memory, and up to 64 lanes of PCIe Gen4 connectivity per socket, for more bandwidth, higher capacity, and copious IO. New security and cryptographic capabilities arrive with the platform as well.

At the foundation of Intel’s 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable, processors is the Ice Lake-SP microarchitecture. Fundamentally, Ice Lake-SP is similar to the previously launched, lower-power Ice Lake (non-SP), which debuted a couple of years back. However, it is beefed up and augmented to address the needs of modern data centers, the cloud, and edge computing workloads.

Shenoy said in his statement that “Intel is uniquely positioned with the architecture, design and manufacturing to deliver the breadth of intelligent silicon and solutions our customers demand.”

Most of the IP in Ice Lake-SP has been updated and enhanced over previous-gen architectures to improve performance or efficiency. Ice Lake-SP is built using Intel’s latest transistor technology. A newer core microarchitecture with a ~20% IPC improvement — dubbed Sunny Cove — is employed in the CPUs, and additional instructions are available to accelerate a variety of burgeoning workloads.