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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Intel launches Xeon chip for edge computing

By Nick Flaherty

There is a perception that using the x86 architecture means there is code compatibility all across the chain of the Internet of Things. This after all was behind the Pentium-based Quark processor for wearables and IoT node designs launched back in 2013.

Now Intel has launched a multi-core processor that brings the Xeon architecture down from the data centre to the edge of the network.

The Xeon D-2100 processor is designed for edge applications and other network applications constrained by space and power. The chips will have from 4 to 18 Skylake-server cores and up to 512 GB of addressable memory alongside an integrated Platform Controller Hub (PCH), integrated high-speed I/O and up to four integrated 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports with a thermal design point (TDP) of 60 watts to 110 watts. 

The point of moving these devices ot the edge is that they can run the same instruction set as more robust Intel Xeon Scalable processors to provide software consistency and scale from the data centre. These include Intel's latest Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (AVX-512) thata are used in software for analytics, compute-intensive applications, cryptography, and data compression.
QuickAssist Technology is available as a hardware option up-to 100 Gbps, for growing cryptography, encryption, and decryption workloads for greater efficiency while delivering enhanced transport and protection across server, storage, and network infrastructure.

There is also hardware Virtualization Technology for dynamic provisioning of services as communication service providers extend network functions virtualization (NFV) to the network edge.
Intel's Platform Storage Extensions enable smarter and more cost-effective storage solutions through integrated technologies that accelerate data movement, protect data, and simplify data management while Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (AES-NI) accelerates data encryption and decryption for secure websites.

“To seize 5G and new cloud and network opportunities, service providers need to optimize their data center and edge infrastructures to meet the growing demands of bandwidth-hungry end users and their smart and connected devices,” said Sandra Rivera, senior vice president and general manager of the Network Platforms Group at Intel. “The Intel Xeon D-2100 processor allows service providers and enterprises to deliver the maximum amount of compute intelligence at the edge or web tier while expending the least power.”

This will help communications service providers CoSPs offer multi-access edge computing (MEC), which allows software applications to tap into local content and real-time information about local-access network conditions, reducing mobile core network of network congestion. This can enable designs from 5G-connected cars, smart stadiums, and retail and medical solutions.

It can be used for edge storage, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), enterprise SAN and NAS storage, midrange routers, network appliances, security appliances, wireless base stations and embedded midrange IoT usages, among others.
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