SAN JOSE, Calif. – Intel will refresh its line of server processors this year, adding three Atom-based chips to the mix. At its annual event in Beijing this week, the company will reveal a few details of the chips and its work defining a reference design for server racks that includes its silicon photonics.
Separately, Intel and Pericom talked about new chips for Thunderbolt, a fast peripheral interface initially defined by Intel and used in Apple Macs.
In Beijing, Intel announced two Atom-based SoCs -- Briarwood for storage systems and Rangely for networking. Briarwood, aka the Atom S12x9, is a 32-nm part that is shipping now and supports up to 40 PCI Express Gen 2 lanes, non-transparent bridging and hardware acceleration for RAID.
Intel would only say Rangely is a 22-nm SoC that will ship in the second half of 2013. At the Beijing event, Intel showed a working demo of Avoton, it’s 22-nm Atom SoC for microservers. Both Rangely and Avoton use a new Atom core called Silvermont, expected to support out-of-order execution.
As for its Xeon server chips, Intel announced it will ship in the middle of this year a 22-nm E3-class Xeon for low-end single-socket servers. The chip is part of its Haswell generation and consumes just 13 W, down from 17 W for its current lowest power Xeon today.
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Intel claims its 2013 Atom and Xeon chips will span the server waterfront.
The Haswell Xeon will include embedded graphics. Intel will roll a developer’s kit for running video streaming applications using the graphics core on the processor.
In its middle market E5-class, Intel will ship in the third quarter a 22-nm Ivy Bridge EP chip for dual-socket systems. By the end of the year, it will ship Ivy Bridge EX processors for systems with eight or more processors, presumably made in its 32-nm process. They will handle up to 12 terabytes of DRAM in an eight-socket node.
Separately, Intel said it is working on a reference architecture for a rack-level server design that it will publish in 2014. The architecture will specify the silicon photonics interconnects Intel announced last year
, at least as one design option.
Last year, Intel worked with China’s Alibaba, Baidu, Ten Cent and China Mobile on Project Scorpio, a custom rack design. Intel’s Beijing office is also developing its own cloud computing system it will let China customers access.