The Centric 2400 10nm server processor is a bold, expensive gamble that a company like Broadcom would never make.
Many of the technical details of Centriq have already been revealed at the Hot Chips conference and at the Linley Group Processor Conference earlier this year. What was missing was the clock speeds, price points, and power requirements. We now have the full story.
The top TDP envelope for Centriq processor is only 120 W, which is quite moderate compared with many of the Intel Xeon processors, which can range to over 200 W. In addition, the Centriq processor is a complete system-on-chip (SoC) which includes all I/O connectivity, while the Intel processors require an external hub chip. (In Qualcomm’s comparisons with Intel, it neglected the hub chip, which gives Qualcomm even better power and price comparisons numbers.)
The top-of-the-line Centriq processor has a nominal clock speed of 2.2 GHz, and a boost clock of 2.6 GHz. Qualcomm indicated that the 2.6 GHz boost clock can be sustained by all cores simultaneously until thermal throttling kicks in. There is no intermediate clock speed for situations where only a portion of the cores are active.
Chart showing Centriq performance per watt comparison versus Intel top-end Xeon Platinum, Gold and Silver.
This contrasts with Intel, which has different boost clocks depending upon the number of active cores. Qualcomm positioned its product as providing more predictable responses than Intel, but it does appear it gave up on some potential peak performance to maintain more consistency.
The Qualcomm Centriq 2460 is the top-of-the-line processor with 48 cores, burst clock of 2.6GHz, 60MB of unified L3 cache, and a 120W TDP envelope. The Centriq 2452 has 46 cores capable of 2.6Ghz burst speed, with 57.5MB of L3 cache and which also has a 120W TDP. The lowest end part is the Centriq 2434 with 40 cores, up to 2.5GHz burst clock speed, 50MB of L3 cache and with a slightly lower TDP of 110W.
While the Centriq 2460 as a peak TDP of 120 W, Qualcomm showed data that while running the SPECint 2006 benchmark, the average power of the various subtests came in at a medium power of 65W. The company is quite proud of how power efficient the Centriq processor can be.
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