Just a few months ago, Intel launched its Cascade Lake line of second-generation Xeon scalable processors. If you are wondering what comes next, Intel answered that today, in part, by laying out what is ahead for its Xeon family. We know that 10-nanometer Xeon chips (based on Ice Lake) are on the horizon, but in the more immediate future, Intel's new Cooper Lake family will stretch its 14nm technology for another round of Xeon processors.
The new Cooper Lake lineup will leverage the capabilities built into Intel's Xeon Platinum 9200 series, which is offered in silicon with up to 56 cores and 112 threads.
"The Intel Xeon Platinum 9200 series that we introduced as part of our 2nd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor family generated a lot of excitement among our customers who are deploying the technology to run their high-performance computing (HPC), advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and high-density infrastructure. Extended 56-core processor offerings into our mainline Intel Xeon Scalable platforms enables us to serve a much broader range of customers who hunger for more processor performance and memory bandwidth," says Lisa Spelman, vice president and general manager of data center marketing at Intel.
There are some key changes that Cooper Lake will bring to the table, compared to Cascade Lake. One of the biggest changes is that Cooper Lake is a socketed solution, rather than BGA only, as is the case with Cascade Lake. Incidentally, Intel also says that Cooper Lake offer platform compatibility with its upcoming 10nm Ice Lake processors, within the Xeon family. This means a new socket is being introduced for Cooper Lake.
Intel is also pitching Cooper Lake as the first x86 processor to deliver built-in high-performance AI training acceleration capabilities, by way of new bfloat16 supported added to Intel's Deep Learning Boost (DL Boost). Interestingly, thus far there has been no mention of bloat16 support being a part of Ice Lake. Just the opposite, there is a vague suggestion that it will not be supported beyond Cooper Lake, but we will have to wait and see.
We will also have to wait and see what specific Cooper Lake models will be available. As it pertains to Cascade Lake, here is the current high-end lineup...
- Xeon Platinum 9282: 56 cores / 112 threads, 2.6GHz to 3.8GHz, 77MB L3 cache, 400W TPD
- Xeon Platinum 9242: 48 cores / 96 threads, 2.3GHz to 3.8GHz, 71.5MB L3 cache, 350W TPD
- Xeon Platinum 9222: 32 cores / 64 threads, 2.3GHz to 3.7GHz, 71.5MB L3 cache, 252W TPD
- Xeon Platinum 9221: 32 cores / 64 threads, 2.1GHz to 3.7GHz, 71.5MB L3 cache, 250W TPD
While sort of a stopgap solution, the move to a socketed design with bfloat16 support is Intel's way of reminding customers that it still has skin in the game, as AMD gets ready to throw its weight around its upcoming EPYC Rome processors. Let the data center games begin.
Intel is planning to roll out is Cooper Lake lineup sometime in the first half of 2020.