At the Supercomputing 2020 trade show, Intel revealed some additional details about its upcoming 3rd Generation Xeon Scalable ‘Ice Lake-SP’ processors due to be formally launched in Q1 2020. Among other things, Intel shared some preliminary performance numbers and said that a server running two 32-core Ice Lake CPUs is faster than a machine based on two of AMD’s 64-core EPYC processors.   

In addition to disclosing some performance figures of Ice Lake-SP processors, Intel also confirmed that it is broadly sampling its next-generation code-named Sapphire Rapids CPUs that are made using its 10nm Enhanced SuperFin process technology. 

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel’s upcoming 3rd Generation Xeon Scalable processor will feature up to 32 cores as well as eight memory channels that will support up to 6TB of DDR4-3200 memory/Intel Optane persistent memory. In addition, the new processor will support PCIe 4.0 connectivity as well as a number of new security technologies, including crypto accelerators. 

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel says the new Sunny Cove microarchitecture coupled with special-purpose accelerators and extended memory support will allow the new processors to be significantly faster than predecessors which rely on the rather outdated Skylake microarchitecture. The new CPUs are made using Intel’s second-gen 10 nm process technology that is also used for client Ice Lake products. 

According to Intel, a server running two third-gen 32-core Xeon Scalable ‘Ice Lake’ CPUs clocked at 2.20 GHz and paired with 256 GB of DDR4-3400 memory is 20% ~ 30% faster in select benchmarks (LAMMPS, NAMD STMV, Monte Carlo) when compared to a server powered by two 64-core AMD EPYC 7742 processors clocked at 2.25 GHz and equipped with 256 GB of DDR4-3200. That’s despite the fact that Intel’s system has half the number of cores.

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel yet has to formally introduce its 3rd Generation Xeon Scalable ‘Ice Lake’ processors, but a number of its customers, including Korea Meteorological Administration, The Max Planck Computing and Data Facility, The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), The University of Tokyo, Osaka University, and Oracle have already announced plans to deploy the new CPUs for their HPC needs.

In addition to disclosing some performance figures of Ice Lake-SP processors, Intel also confirmed that it is broadly sampling its next-generation code-named Sapphire Rapids CPUs that are made using its 10nm Enhanced SuperFin process technology.  

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