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Intel expands Xeon Phi range

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:supercomputing? embedded systems? CPU?

The 7100 and 3100 have been expected from Intel, with many leaks on the Internet revealing their stock-keeping units (SKU), but the tiny form factor of the 5100 took most by surprise. The first member of that familythe 5120Dis already being used by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to create a new genre of computerthe embedded supercomputer.

"The Xeon Phi high-density 5100 form factor expresses our belief that the HPC eco system has a lot of innovation to put into their systems," said Hazra. "We believe its very small form-factor will lets OEMs add their own innovations on top to customise it for the needs of their end-users. In fact, OEMs are already using the 5120D for high-density designs enabling a new level of performance density that has not been possible before now."

Another surprise was Intel's announcement that a stand-alone CPU, rather than coprocessor, version of the Xeon Phicodenamed "Knight's Landing"will be available next year, long before Intel's competitors will be shipping 14nm chips.

"Intel will be shipping 14nm chips before anybody else in the world," said Hazra. "Our next-generation Xeon Phi on Intel's 14nm process technology will no longer just be a PCI Express co-processor, but can also act a stand-alone CPU, unbound by the need for offloading and with other innovations such as integrated on-package memory matched with the open-source Lustre distributed file system."

For the future, Hazra promised that Xeon Phi models would include an integrated interconnection fabric right on the processor die. By integrating 100-gigabit per second communications lines onto CPUs, distributed cluster supercomputers can be drastically downsized. In the foreseeable future, that will lead to petascale supercomputers that fit in single rack and exascale supercomputers that consume just 20-megaWatts, according to Hazra.

- R Colin Johnson
??EE Times

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