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

Workload-Specialized Processors

Intel has seen a large expansion of the cloud market (TAM) and along with it they have reported a significant increase in the need for custom SKUs. In fact, at last year innovation summit, the company reported that over 50% of their cloud SKUs are custom to customers, this is up from just 18% in 2013. For Intel, Custom SKUs mean models that are tailored (binned) to a customer’s exact workload needs. That can be a modification to the TDP limit in order to reach extremely low or high frequencies, modifications to the turbo or base frequencies. An example of a Skylake-based custom SKU is the Xeon Platinum 8124 which is designed specifically for Amazon AWS and has a fixed turbo frequency for any number of active cores.

With Cascade Lake, Intel is doubling down on specialized SKUs. Many SKUs that were sought after by customers are now becoming part of Intel’s standard Xeon lineup. New SKUs can be grouped into the following categories:

  • Speed Select Technology SKUs
  • Specialized for network function virtualization
  • Specialized for networking and IoT (NEBS Friendly)
  • Specialized Search Application
  • Extended Memory

Speed Select Technology (SST)

Speed Select Technology is a new feature found on SST-enabled SKUs that allows for finer per-core power/performance configuration. SST-enabled SKUs come with additional controls that allow system administrators to change the turbo and base frequencies of certain cores. Those cores (called prioritized cores) can then have certain applications with higher priority affinitized to them. Since the power budget of the processor is fixed, with less prioritized cores, it’s possible to increase the base or turbo frequency. This can be furthered improved by reducing the frequencies of lower-priority cores (below their pre-defined base frequencies). In other words, SST allows for higher performance for priority workloads through the sacrifice of lower-priority workloads.

There are three new SST-enabled SKUs. Processor models with SST are suffixed with a ‘Y’.

Cascade Lake With SST
Model Cores Base Turbo L3 TDP
Platinum 8260Y 24 / 48 2.4 GHz 3.9 GHz 35.75 MiB 165 W
Gold 6240Y 18 / 36 2.6 GHz 3.9 GHz 24.75 MiB 150 W
Silver 4214Y 12 / 24 2.2 GHz 3.2 GHz 16.5 MiB 85 W

VM Density Value Specialized SKUs

VM density value optimized are SKUs that have been optimized to provide higher ROI for customers that benefit more from the higher thread count.

There are two new VM density SKUs. Those models are suffixed with a ‘V’.

Cascade Lake VM Density SKUs
Model Cores Base Turbo L3 TDP
Gold 6262V 24 / 48 1.9 GHz 3.6 GHz 33 MiB 135 W
Gold 6222V 20 / 40 1.8 GHz 3.6 GHz 27.5 MiB 115 W

Network Function Virtualization (NFV) SKUs

NFV models are optimized for dynamic density VMs with additional headroom for higher subscribe capacity. NFV SKUs also feature speed select profiles with configurable priority based on the kind of workloads that are running.

There are three new NFV SKUs. Those models are suffixed with a ‘N’.

Cascade Lake NFV SKUs
Model Cores Base Turbo L3 TDP
Gold 6252N 24 / 48 2.3 GHz 3.6 GHz 35.75 MiB 150 W
Gold 6230N 20 / 40 2.3 GHz 3.5 GHz 27.5 MiB 125 W
Gold 5218N 16 / 32 2.3 GHz 3.9 GHz 22 MiB 105 W

Search Application Value specialized

The search-optimized SKU is mainly designed for cloud search applications. Those models are designed such that they have predictable performance and latencies.

There is one new search-optimized SKUs. Those models are suffixed with an ‘S’.

Cascade Lake Search-optimized SKUs
Model Cores Base Turbo L3 TDP
Gold 5220S 18 / 36 2.7 GHz 3.9 GHz 24.75 MiB 125 W

Specialized for networking and IoT (NEBS Friendly)

Models that are suffixed with “T” have extended lifetime (10 year use) guarantees and NEBS-friendly packing specification.

There are four new NEBS-friendly SKUs.

Cascade Lake NEBS-friendly SKUs
Model Cores Base Turbo L3 TDP
Gold 6238T 22 / 44 1.9 GHz 3.7 GHz 30.25 MiB 125 W
Gold 6230T 20 / 40 2.1 GHz 3.9 GHz 27.5 MiB 125 W
Gold 5220T 18 / 36 2.2 GHz 3.9 GHz 24.75 MiB 105 W
Silver 4209T 8 / 16 2.2 GHz 3.2 GHz 11 MiB 70 W

Extended Memory

Beyond the normal supported memory, Intel also offers fourteen additional SKUs with extended memory support. Xeon Scalable models with the ‘M’ suffix offer medium DDR memory tier support with up to 2 TiB of memory per socket. Above those SKUs are ‘L’-suffixed SKUs which offer large memory support of up to 4.5 TiB of memory per socket.

Extended Memory Cascade Lake SKUs
Model Cores Base Turbo L3 TDP
Platinum 8280L 28 / 56 2.7 GHz 4.0 GHz 38.5 MiB 205 W
Platinum 8280M 28 / 56 2.7 GHz 4.0 GHz 38.5 MiB 205 W
Platinum 8276L 28 / 56 2.2 GHz 4.0 GHz 38.5 MiB 165 W
Platinum 8276M 28 / 56 2.2 GHz 4.0 GHz 38.5 MiB 165 W
Platinum 8260L 24 / 48 2.4 GHz 3.9 GHz 35.7 MiB 165 W
Platinum 8260M 24 / 48 2.4 GHz 3.9 GHz 35.7 MiB 165 W
Platinum 8253L 16 / 32 2.2 GHz 3.0 GHz 35.7 MiB 165 W
Platinum 8253M 16 / 32 2.2 GHz 3.0 GHz 35.7 MiB 165 W
Gold 6240L 18 / 36 2.6 GHz 3.9 GHz 24.75 MiB 150 W
Gold 6240M 18 / 36 2.6 GHz 3.9 GHz 24.75 MiB 150 W
Gold 6238L 22 / 44 2.1 GHz 3.7 GHz 30.25 MiB 140 W
Gold 6238M 22 / 44 2.1 GHz 3.7 GHz 30.25 MiB 140 W
Gold 5215L 10 / 20 2.5 GHz 3.4 GHz 16.5 MiB 85 W
Gold 5215M 10 / 20 2.5 GHz 3.4 GHz 16.5 MiB 85 W

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