Xeon 6 processors Revealed: Intel’s Answer to High Needs

Intel Xeon 6 Processors

Intel has introduced a new generation of server processors, the Xeon 6 family. This family comprises two distinct series: Sierra Forest and Granite Rapids. Sierra Forest, codenamed for its focus on efficiency, utilizes Intel’s E-cores for high core counts, catering to workloads that benefit from extensive parallelization. Granite Rapids, scheduled for release in Q3 2024, will leverage P-cores for scenarios demanding superior individual core performance.

The Sierra Forest series boasts an impressive core count, with the flagship Xeon 6 6766E packing a staggering 144 E-cores. This core density allows for significant server consolidation. Intel estimates that a server farm with 200 racks using older processors could be condensed to just 66 racks with Xeon 6 E-cores.

Beyond core count, the Sierra Forest series prioritizes efficiency. These processors are built on Intel’s 3 process technology, offering improved performance per watt compared to previous generations. Benchmarks indicate a performance-per-watt improvement of up to 2.6x and rack-level performance gains of up to 4.2x. All Xeon 6 E-core processors boast a healthy 88 PCIe 5.0 lanes for high-speed data transfer.

Intel Unveils Xeon 6 Processors: High Core Count Meets Efficiency

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While core count is king for Sierra Forest, tasks requiring robust single-core performance, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision, will find a better fit with the upcoming Granite Rapids series. Granite Rapids will utilize Intel’s P-cores, designed for superior individual core speed. While likely offering a lower core count compared to Sierra Forest. This targeted approach ensures optimal performance for diverse workloads.

The base model of the Sierra Forest series, the Xeon 6 6710E, features 64 E-cores with a base clock speed of 2.4 GHz and a turbo frequency of 3.2 GHz. Core count increases progressively across the series, with models offering 96, 112, and 128 cores, culminating in the 144-core 6766E and 6780E. The 6766E prioritizes efficiency with a 250W TDP (Thermal Design Power) and base/turbo frequencies of 1.9 GHz and 2.7 GHz, respectively. The 6780E, designed for slightly higher performance, offers the same 144 cores but with a 330W TDP and base/turbo frequencies of 2.2 GHz and 3.0 GHz.

Also, all Xeon 6 E-core processors boast a generous 96MB of L3 cache. Except for the top-tier 144-core models, which benefit from an even larger 108MB cache. This ample cache size enhances data accessibility and processing speed.

So, the introduction of the Xeon 6 family signifies a strategic move by the company. The Sierra Forest series caters to a growing need for efficient, high-core-count processors suited for cloud computing, web services, and 5G network workloads. The upcoming Granite Rapids series will address the demands of compute-intensive tasks requiring superior single-core performance. This two-pronged approach positions Intel to effectively compete across the server processor landscape.

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