In a PCN (Product Change Notification) sent to partners (via Computerbase.de), Intel has quietly launched the Xeon Gold and Platinum platforms. The lineups boast a wide variety of clock speeds and core configurations with the flagship going as high as 28 cores clocked at a hearty 2.5 GHz. Interestingly, the socket actually appears to be the R3 socket (LGA 2011-3?) and there is still no official word on the 32-core chip we spotted earlier this year.
Intel’s Xeon Gold and Platinum lineups go as high as 3.6 GHz clock speed with the low core variants (think Xeon Gold 5122) and as low as 2.0 GHz for some specific low power variants. The Xeon Gold lineup has the nomenclature of 61xx while the Platinum lineup follows the 81xx nomenclature for CPU naming convention. Let’s talk about the absolutely monster CPU that is lurking in this lineup though: the 28 core, 56 thread Xeon part.
The Intel Xeon Platinum 8180 is the part believed to have 28 cores and is clocked at an astounding 2.5 GHz core clock. This is very impressive for a processor with this amount of cores. It also has an L3 cache of 38.5 MB as well as a TDP of just 205 watts. The architectural improvements that set Skylake apart from Broadwell can be found throughout this lineup so it would be fair to call it Intel’s Skylake rollout to the server market.
The T and M at the end of the nomenclature both stand for power variants and the H0 stepping shows that Intel has been busy with this lineup progressing so far into the nomenclature family of CPU steppings. The amount of DIMMs available has been increased to 3 DIMMs per channel for a grand total of 18 DIMMs per CPU.
So far Intel has four families of Xeon planned: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The Platinum family will be the 8000 series, gold will be 6000 and 500, silver will be 4000 and bronze will be the 3000 series. Core scaling is thought to start from 10 cores all the way up to 28 cores (or even 32 cores if the processor we saw earlier ends up being part of this lineup.
While it is unclear at this point how the new Xeon naming scheme fits into the grand scheme of things, here are some of the confirmed details about Skylake-EP that we heard before. Keep in mind, however, that the nomenclature might no longer be accurate. The Skylake Purley platform will be divided between three major categories 2S, 4S and 8S/8S+. This includes the family range from Xeon E5 to Xeon E7. The expected nomenclature should assume the ‘v5’ suffix thanks to the Skylake microarchitecture present in the processors and includes the Xeon E5 2600 v5, Xeon E5 4600 v5, Xeon E7 4800 v5 and Xeon E7 8800 v5. The E5 family includes the dual socket and quad socket designs (2S and 4S) whileas the E7 family includes the 8 socket design structure with the C602 chipset and a scalable memory buffer.
ne of the biggest advancements that Skylake will have is the Intel Omnipath Architecture integration which will be called Storm Lake (Generation 1). The PCH will be codenamed Lewisburg and will also ship with updated Ethernet controllers. Another very important point to note is that the platform will be scalable up to 8 sockets – which is frankly an absolutely insane amount for CPUs working in tandem in any given configuration. Specific SKUs have not been disclosed at this time. Since we already have in our possession the complete slide deck for this platform, I have taken the liberty to post the important bits here:
Skylake EX Purley will be spread out amongst the entire scalable segment – unlike the previous iterations. The TDP will be configurable from 45W to 165W and will require Socket P. Another interesting point to note is the fact that not only will Purley update the number of PCIe slots to 48 but they will finally be configurable in x4, x8 and x16 divisions ( a major update). Previous reports had hinted on Intel working on some secret project that will prove Skylake to be quite a big architectural jump and not simply another Haswell. While we haven’t seen any evidence of this revolutionary change on the mainstream side, Skylake Purley does appear to be the aforementioned jump, incarnate.
According to Intel’s own slides, Skylake Purley is poised to be the biggest update since the age old Nehalem platform. Along with the improved performance per watt that comes with every article iteration, Skylake EX Purley will actually ship with 6 channels of DDR4 as opposed to 4. It will also include the AVX 512 instruction set and will boast the 100G OmniPath interconnect. Skylake Purley will also have Cannonlake graphics support not to mention FPGA integration (another important upgrade).
The new platform also comes with an updated socket. The socket has been upgraded to feature 3647 pins that gives it the LGA 3647 name. The socket is surrounded by 12 DDR4 DIMM slots. This is due to support next-generation hexa-channel memory and Intel’s Optane DIMMs for faster latency solutions. Overall, Purley will be expanding Intel’s server platform with a range of new features.