Intel Corporation Forays Into SoC With Xeon D Processors

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Intel Corporation Forays Into SoC With Xeon D Processors
By The original uploader was VD64992 at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Intel has launched a new series of Xeon brand processors referred to as Xeon D. The chip maker calls these system-on-a-chip server processors “the Intel Xeon processor D product family” and says they are useful for blade and high-density server systems.

Improved performance, intelligence

As of now, Intel has come up with two Xeon D processors. The first is an 8-core, 16-thread part with 12MB cache and a 2GHz base/2.6GHz turbo clock, while the second is a 4-core, 8-thread part with 6MB cache and a 2.2GHz/2.6GHz turbo clock. The latest processors are built on the chip maker’s 14nm process and make use of its Broadwell architecture. Both processors are identical expect for the differences in core count, cache and clock speed.

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Both new processors from Intel are equipped with various power management and power saving features to boost efficiency. One technology that’s used is a power optimized turbo system that helps the processor track whether or not the improved clock frequency is leading to increased performance. If the performance is not improving meaningfully, then the system will cut the power allotted to the core and deploy it elsewhere.

Also instead of depending on the operating system to give directions, the chips have built-in intelligence to decide which power and sleep mode to use. According to Intel, this feature will help the system respond more quickly.

Will Xeon help Intel overcome the ARM threat?

Both Xeon D processors are now available and can be acquired by paying $199 for the 4-core version and $581 for the 8-core version. In the future, the chip maker plans to roll out different variants targeted at specific applications such as storage, networking and Internet of Things devices.

Intel has been a dominant player in the server and data center market, but the threat is growing from low-power, high-density server processors. ARM-based servers are not a big threat now, but Intel does not want to take any chance and wants to be ready.

As of now, the new offerings from Intel appear stronger from a performance and functionality perspective. Also the compatibility with x86 software will work in favor of the chip maker. However, it remains to be seen whether or not the new processors will keep vendor from considering ARM.

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