Intel Rolls Out Next-Gen Data Center Portfolio; 100 Gigabit Ethernet, Optane DC, Hewitt Lake, and Cascade Lake With Up to 56 Cores


Intel has been detailing Cascade Lake since late last year, including at Hot Chips 30. The company has also talked a great deal about their DC Persistent Memory. Today all the puzzle pieces are coming together with the launch of their next-generation of their data center product portfolio. The launch is very well rounded with products across their entire product stack – interconnects, storage, compute, and technologies.

Overview

Today, Intel is announcing a number of new products across the entire data center stack. They are briefly summerized below:

  • Ethernet – Columbiaville 800 Series Ethernet
  • Storage – Optane DC Persistent Memory, SSDs, and NAND Drives
  • Compute (HP) – Cascade Lake Xeon Scalable Processors
  • Compute (LP) – Hewitt Lake Xeon D Processors
  • FPGA – Falcon Mesa 10nm Agilex FPGAs

Note that the FPGAs are discussed in this separate article which incorporates some information from Intel Architecture Day which was held late last year.

Second Gen Xeon Scalable

Second-generation Xeon Scalable are based on the Cascade Lake Microarchitecture. We will iterate over some of the features and expand on some of the new disclosures later on. Intel is keeping most of the Xeon Scalable branding the same. Second generation will simply increment the numbering by 100. A major introduction along with the new lineup is a new Xeon Platinum 9200 series which will discuss in detail later on in this article. The new 9200 series, as the name suggests, is a new tier of higher core and higher performance processors with up to 56 cores in a single socket.

As far as the naming scheme goes, there is still some logical ordering to the numbering scheme, at least by Intel’s standards, but more specialized SKUs were added.

We will go over the meaning of the new specialized workload SKUs later on but for now the main takeaway should be that there are new successor SKUs for the prior Skylake-based models as well as new SKUs special-fit for certain workloads.

2nd-Gen SKUs

There are twenty-eight new Cascade Lake base SKUs and another twenty-seven specialized SKUs. The base SKUs are listed below.

Second Gen Xeon Scalable (Cascade Lake)
Model Price Cores Base Turbo TDP
Xeon Platinum 8200 Series
8280 $10,009 28 2.7 GHz 4.0 GHz 205 W
8276 $8,719 28 2.2 GHz 4.0 GHz 165 W
8270 $7,405 26 2.7 GHz 4.0 GHz 205 W
8268 $6,302 24 2.9 GHz 3.9 GHz 205 W
8260 $4,702 24 2.4 GHz 3.9 GHz 165 W
8256 $7,007 4 3.8 GHz 3.9 GHz 105 W
8253 $3,115 16 2.2 GHz 3.0 GHz 165 W
Xeon Gold 6200 Series
6254 $3,803 18 3.1 GHz 4.0 GHz 200 W
6252 $3,665 24 2.1 GHz 3.7 GHz 150 W
6248 $3,072 20 2.5 GHz 3.9 GHz 150 W
6244 $2,925 8 3.6 GHz 4.4 GHz 150 W
6242 $2,529 16 2.8 GHz 3.9 GHz 150 W
6240 $2,445 18 2.6 GHz 3.9 GHz 150 W
6238 $2,612 22 2.1 GHz 3.7 GHz 140 W
6234 $2,214 8 3.3 GHz 4.0 GHz 130 W
6230 $1,894 20 2.1 GHz 3.9 GHz 125 W
6226 $1,776 12 2.8 GHz 3.7 GHz 125 W
Xeon Gold 5200 Series
5222 $1,221 4 3.8 GHz 3.9 GHz 105 W
5220 $1,555 18 2.2 GHz 3.9 GHz 125 W
5218 $1,273 16 2.3 GHz 3.9 GHz 125 W
5217 $1,522 8 3.0 GHz 3.7 GHz 115 W
5215 $1,221 10 2.5 GHz 3.4 GHz 85 W
Xeon Silver 4200 Series
4216 $1,002 16 2.1 GHz 3.2 GHz 100 W
4215 $794 8 2.5 GHz 3.5 GHz 85 W
4214 $694 12 2.2 GHz 3.2 GHz 85 W
4210 $501 10 2.2 GHz 3.2 GHz 85 W
4208 $417 8 2.1 GHz 3.2 GHz 85 W
Xeon Bronze 3200 Series
3204 $213 6 1.9 GHz 1.9 GHz 85 W

Frequency

Given Intel’s ongoing 10-nanometers problems and their significant improvements to their 14-nanometer node, it should come as no surprise that Cascade Lake delivers a decent frequency bump for the same thermal design points. This is the easiest and most effective way to improve the single-thread and multi-thread performance assuming nothing else is bottlenecked. Intel claims that compared to the prior generation of Xeon Scalable, the new models provide up to 1.33x the performance of the prior generation. For comparable SKUs – with the same SKU number, same core, and same TDP – the new models have a turbo frequency of about 200 MHz higher. Similarly, for the base frequency, there is a 200 MHz improvement. For a few of the high core count SKUs, we see a 300 MHz and 600 MHz improvements in the base frequency.

Core Count

Just looking at the new models and the naming scheme, it’s easy to see how most SKUs upgrade nicely from Skylake-SP to Cascade Lake SP. For example 28-core 8180 becomes 8280, 28-core 8176 becomes 8276, and 20-core 6148 becomes 6248. There are, however, a number of SKUs that have deviated in some way and those are noted below:

SKU changes
Skylake SP   Cascade Lake SP
6152 22/44 140 W $3655   6252 24/48 150 W $3665
6138 20/40 125 W $2612   6238 22/44 140 W $2612
6130 16/32 125 W $1894   6230 20/40 125 W $1894
5120 14/28 105 W $1555   5220 18/36 125 W $1555
5118 12/24 105 W $1273   5218 16/32 125 W $1273
5117 14/28 105 W $????   5217 8/16 115 W $1522
4116 12/24 85 W $1002   4216 16/32 100 W $1002
4114 10/20 85 W $694   4214 12/24 85 W $694
4110 8/16 85 W $501   4210 10/20 85 W $501

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