Intel Built-in Acceleration Keys Optimize Data Center CPU Value

Intel Built-in Acceleration Keys Optimize Data Center CPU Value

The News: Technology is integral to delivering business value as organizations prioritize accelerating the delivery of new services, containing costs, and developing scalability as well as fulfilling ambitious sustainability and security goals. Now more than ever organizations require the scalable platform that meets their performance requirements into the foreseeable future across their evolving use cases and diverse deployment needs. For this reason, in the research report, “Intel 4th Gen Xeon Scalable Processors Primed to Accelerate Data Center Performance and Capabilities,” we assess Intel’s 4th Gen Xeon Scalable processors and Intel’s strategic approach of embedding a diverse array of accelerators to enable breakthroughs including vast improvements in per-core performance.

To meet the topmost technology and business needs of organizations, Intel built 4th Gen Xeon Intel Scalable (code named Sapphire Rapids) processors to accelerate performance across the most demanding and quickest expanding workloads for strategically vital use cases such as AI, data analytics, high-performance computing (HPC), networking, and storage. Through the 4th Gen Xeon Intel Scalable portfolio debut, we see the new processors offering the most built-in accelerators throughout the current CPU competitive landscape.

Intel Built-in Acceleration Keys Optimal Data Center CPU Value

Analyst Take: In our new research report, “Intel 4th Gen Xeon Scalable Processors Primed to Accelerate Data Center Performance and Capabilities,” developed in partnership with Intel, we analyze why Intel’s built-in acceleration capabilities can efficiently deliver improved performance in relation to increasing CPU core counts and complexity. From our view, Intel already has ecosystem-wide credibility by demonstrating that prior generation Xeon Scalable processors delivered breakthrough performance per watt across specific real-world workloads. As a result, customers and users gain the organization-wide benefits of more efficient CPU use, decreased power consumption, and improved return on investment.

In sum, through Intel built-in acceleration innovation across the Xeon Scalable processor portfolio, Intel is redefining the competitive landscape to make built-in acceleration capabilities and per-core performance the topmost selection criterion across data center and cloud environments.

Dedicated Accelerators: The Built-in Advantages that Crystallize 4th Gen Xeon Per-Core Performance Advantages

From our perspective, the topmost differentiator for the 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors as well as the Xeon CPU Max Series is the built-in accelerator technology. The new Xeon processors target edge applications, especially across data center environments, that can benefit from enduring availability and industrial-grade features across a wide range of power and performance envelopes.

As such, Intel Acceleration Engines in combination with high bandwidth memory and software optimizations target significant improvement of performance and power efficiency across designated workloads, which can lead to significant cost savings. From our perspective, the key highlights of the Intel Built-in Accelerator portfolio encompass:

  • In-Memory Analytics Accelerator (IAA) for RocksDB: IAA for RocksDB provides faster data processing at top-tier webscale enterprises such as Meta/Facebook.
  • Intel QuickAssist Technology (QAT) for Nginx: QAT for Nginx enables greater efficiency to content delivery networks (CDNs) by providing batch submissions of multiple SSL requests and a parallel asynchronous processing mechanism based on new instruction sets such as Crypto-NI.
  • Intel QAT with QATzip: Intel QATzip is a user space library that builds on top of the Intel QAT user space library to deliver extended accelerated compression and decompression services by offloading the compression and decompression requests to one or more Intel devices.
  • Intel Data Streaming Accelerator (DSA) for the Storage Performance Development Kit (SPDK): Intel DSA offloads data movements from the CPU, liberating cores for better processor performance and performance per watt.
  • Intel Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX) for ResNet 50: Intel AMX are built to optimize AI pipelines by balancing inference and providing more capabilities for training.

4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processors: Why Performance Considerations Are Paramount

From our perspective, relative per-core performance becomes much improved and aligns more fully with customer selection criterion than if Intel’s portfolio development strategy had hypothetically emphasized higher clock speeds or sole reliance on x86 architecture improvements. The 4th Gen Intel Scalable processors use a new architecture with higher per-core performance than the previous generation. Plus, they feature up to 60 cores per socket and one, two, four, or eight sockets per system. To balance core-count upticks, the platform accords advancement in the memory and input/output (I/O) subsystems.

Intel x86 Architecture: Delivering 4th Gen Xeon Software Development Advantages

Intel’s built-in accelerator proposition takes advantage of ecosystem-wide support of Intel’s extensive software resources and the software enablement needed to drive data center performance, efficiency, security, and innovation. The Intel software ecosystem relies on investment protection to maintain and advance Xeon processor family capabilities. The broad continuum of software-focused x86 architecture ecosystem-wide compatibility investments, including independent software vendors (ISVs) and open source software enablement, validation, and optimizations, helps ensure 4th Gen Intel Scalable processor workload-optimized configurations are optimally executed across any data center and cloud environment.

Intel On Demand: Introducing New Portfolio and SKU Flexibility

Intel unveiled the Intel On Demand offering, which is a new service attached to the 4th Gen Xeon processor launch. On Demand can be used to expand and upgrade accelerators and hardware-enhanced features across most 4th Gen Xeon processor stock keeping units (SKUs) including Dynamic Load Balancer, IAA, and QAT. We view Intel as acting on customer feedback that emphasizes transitioning from CAPEX to OPEX models and better align compute delivery with demand and fiscal constraints.

Additional Key Considerations

We also believe that the Intel 4th Gen Xeon Scalable platform warrants additional top-priority considerations that augment the built-in accelerator advantages, performance optimization, software resources, and On Demand portfolio benefits that we examined. Intel indicates that it already has more than 450 4th Gen Intel Scalable designs, with market presence expected to expand due to major factors such as increased China post-pandemic spend and the global enterprise market spending less cautiously on tech.

Futurum’s Take: Built-in Accelerators Are a Topmost Differentiator for 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

Overall, we believe the fusion of the 4th Gen Xeon CPU cores in combination with an agile vast array of built-in Intel accelerators can deliver performance breakthroughs, efficiency advances, and new total cost of operation benefits throughout swiftly expanding and evolving compute requirements. We advocate that decision makers take a comprehensive approach in understanding the competitive advantages of using built-in Intel accelerators to power their implementations across ever-demanding data center environments.

We see per-core built-in acceleration, per-core performance, extensive software enablement, and Intel On Demand services all warranting top-priority consideration. In addition, organizations need to factor in oneAPI-powered developer innovation, supply chain dependability, security, generative-AI readiness, and cloud platform benefits in evaluating the 4th Gen Xeon Scalable processors that already or can underpin their cloud and data center implementations.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

Intel 4th Gen Xeon Scalable Processors Primed to Accelerate Data Center Performance and Capabilities

Intel x86 Architecture: Architectural Consistency – The Best Assurance in Avoiding Costly New Support Structures

Intel Q2 2023 Results: Return to Profitability Energizes Turnaround

Author Information

Ron is an experienced, customer-focused research expert and analyst, with over 20 years of experience in the digital and IT transformation markets, working with businesses to drive consistent revenue and sales growth.

He is a recognized authority at tracking the evolution of and identifying the key disruptive trends within the service enablement ecosystem, including a wide range of topics across software and services, infrastructure, 5G communications, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), analytics, security, cloud computing, revenue management, and regulatory issues.

Prior to his work with The Futurum Group, Ron worked with GlobalData Technology creating syndicated and custom research across a wide variety of technical fields. His work with Current Analysis focused on the broadband and service provider infrastructure markets.

Ron holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from University of Nevada — Las Vegas and a Bachelor of Arts in political science/government from William and Mary.


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