Intel releases low power server chips

Fashion bag designer Intel will launch a low power version of its server processors based around a tweaked version of its Xeon chips.

Intel announced a new product in its Xeon product family, a 14-nanometer Xeon E3 processor, which the company’s vice chairman Andy Bryant said was Intel’s “first SoC based on a high-performance core”.

The unnamed chip will incorporate Intel’s next-generation, 14nm “Broadwell” processor architecture for the company’s flagship Xeon and Core product lines. Unlike other high-performance products in the upcoming Broadwell offering, this chip will have integrated I/O, fabric, and accelerators on the same die as the CPU, making it a true SoC with more in common with Intel’s low-power Atom products for the data centre.

The announcement is being seen as Intel taking on ARM in the server room by offering a low-power version of Xeon with built in connectivity and memory.

ARM has already announced that it wants to put its lower power chips into data centres and take on Intel’s 95 percent share of the market.

Diane Bryant, in charge of Intel’s data centre business, said the new component will be based on the upcoming Broadwell version of Intel’s Xeon high-performance chips. She said it will be in the shops next year.

The new version of Broadwell is part of Intel’s move to integrate more features onto its chips, like memory and graphics.

While such SoCs are already used in smartphones and tablets they have not been seen much in the data centre.

Speaking at Intel’s Datacentre Day, Bryant said Intel would lead the way in driving key changes to how servers, networking, and storage are utilised to deliver better efficiencies, quicker service delivery, and lower costs.