Intel Corporation has introduced 17 enterprise-class processors, led by the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series. The company says these are their most revolutionary server processors since addressing the market with the Intel Pentium Pro processor almost 15 years ago.
The new enterprise-class chips can automatically adjust to specified energy usage levels, and speed data centre transactions and customer database queries.
The Intel Xeon processor 5500 series, previously codenamed “Nehalem-EP,” offers several breakthrough technologies that radically improve system speed and versatility.
Technologies such as Intel Turbo Boost Technology, Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, integrated power gates, and Next-Generation Intel Virtualisation Technology (VT) improved through extended page tables, allow the system to adapt to a broad range of workloads.
“The Intel Xeon processor 5500 series is the foundation for the next decade of innovation,” said Patrick Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group. “These chips showcase groundbreaking advances in performance, virtualisation and workload management, which will create opportunities to solve the world’s most complex challenges and push the limits of science and technology.”
The launch was deemed as the greatest Intel Xeon performance leap in history, delivering gains of more than double the previous generation Intel Xeon processor 5400 series.
A new feature, Intel Turbo Boost Technology, increases system performance based on the user’s workload and environment, dynamically boosting the clock speed of one or more of the individual processing cores.
The Intel Xeon processor 5500 series also offers automated energy efficiency enhancements, providing users with greater control of their energy expenditures. This includes a processor idle power level of only 10 watts, enabling a 50 percent reduction3 in system idle power compared to the previous generation. New integrated power gates, based on Intel’s unique high-k metal gate technology, allow idle cores to power down independently.
To improve intelligent power the company has implemented up to 15 automated operating states. These create significant improvements in chip power management by adjusting system power consumption based on real-time throughput and without sacrificing performance.
The L5518 and L5508 are versions of Intel Xeon processors that were tailored specifically for communications market segments. These processors include options ideal for applications in thermally constrained environments, such as blades and appliances for communication infrastructure, security, storage, medical applications, carrier-grade rackmount servers, router modules and even submarine technology. The L5518 offers 2.13 GHz and a power level of 60 watts. The L5508 offers 2.00 GHz and a power level of 38 watts. New communications and embedded processors feature 7-year extended lifecycle support; these new chips will enable the technology of the future, such as WiMAX, video-on-demand and holographic communications.
Intel is also announcing new server boards that offer a higher degree of integrated components. In addition, the company is announcing the Intel 82599 10 Gigabit Ethernet Controller, featuring advanced virtualisation technology and unified networking support, which greatly improves network I/O performance in virtualised datacentres. It is optimised to support the increased bandwidth provided by platforms based on the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series, which provides more than 250 percent the I/O throughput of previous-generation servers to best meet the needs of the most demanding virtualisation applications.
For server applications, processor frequencies peak at 2.93 GHz with DDR3 memory speeds up to 1333 MHz and power levels of from 60 to 95 watts. Under certain conditions, Intel Turbo Boost Technology can provide operating frequencies up to 3.33 GHz, depending on the processor and system configuration. Workstation frequencies go up to 3.20 GHz with power levels of 130 watts, and up to 3.46GHz using Intel Turbo Boost Technology depending on the workload and environment. Each processor contains up to 8MB of level 3 cache.
More than 230 unique systems based on the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series are expected to be announced by more than 70 system manufacturers around the world – including a new Intel customer, Cisco, along with Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Sun Microsystems and others.