Intel re-imagines the data centre

Chip making giant Intel Corp. has revealed details on a new 22nm Atom processor plus a roadmap, which the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company hopes will help them penetrate the data centre market.

What CDN has learned is that Intel’s data centre roadmap will include new system-on-a-chip technology based on a next-generation Broadwell architecture. The thought here is that Broadwell’s 14nm architecture will help address a broader range of data centre workloads that are mobile in nature and services based.

Intel senior vice president and Data Centre business GM, Diane Bryant said the data centre market is entering a new era of rapid service delivery. Across network, storage and servers Intel continues to see significant opportunities for growth. In many cases, it requires a new approach to deliver the scale and efficiency required, and today the company unveiled the near and long-term actions to enable this transformation.

According to Intel, as more mobile devices connect to the Internet, cloud-based software and applications get smarter by learning from the billions of people and machines using it, thus resulting in a new era of context-rich experiences and services. It also results in a massive amount of network connections and a continuous stream of real-time, unstructured data. New challenges for networks, computing and storage are emerging as the growing volume of data is transported, collected, aggregated and analyzed in data centres.

As a result, Intel said data centres must be more agile and service-driven than ever before, and easier to manage and operate.

As an example, Intel referenced Disney, who recently started providing visitors with wireless wristbands to that capture real-time data analytics.

But the main thrust of this new direction for Intel will be on re-architecting network, storage and servers. In the roadmap, Intel revealed plans to virtualize the network, enable smart storage solutions and invest in innovative rack optimized architectures.

Bryant added that Intel’s Rack Scale Architecture (RSA) promises to dramatically increase the utilization and flexibility of the data centre to deliver new services.

Cloud services vendor Rackspace Inc. of San Antionio will play a role in this new push by Intel in the data centre. Rackspace announced the deployment of new server racks that is a step toward reaching Intel’s RSA vision, powered by Xeon processors and Intel Ethernet controllers with storage accelerated by Intel solid state drives.

As part of its strategy, Intel revealed new details for the forthcoming Atom to be branded C2000. The C2000 product line will be targeted at low-energy, high-density microservers and storage, and network devices. This second generation of Intel’s 64-bit SoCs is expected to become available later this year and will be based on the company’s 22nm process technology and the innovative Silvermont microarchitecture. It will feature up to eight cores with integrated Ethernet and support for up to 64GB of memory.

The new products are expected to deliver up to four times1,3 the energy efficiency and up to seven times1,2 more performance than the first generation Atom processor-based server SoCs introduced in December last year, the company claims.

Intel has also been sampling the new Atom server chips since April and has already more than doubled the number of system designs compared to the previous generation.

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