THOUGHTS ON Intel – Data Center Product Launch

Today Intel had a major Data Center event in San Francisco. It was a multi-hour announcement showcasing all the different products Intel is/will be launching.

Some interesting background that Intel talked about was that only 2% of worlds data has been analyzed and a 5G will be a major driver move compute to the edge.   They also touted that over 50% of AI workloads are inference and runs best on Intel (X86).  Noticeably absent at the beginning of the presentation was Intel’s work on training.

We found the most interesting parts of the announcement being that AWS talked about custom versions of Intel’s CPU and a Up to 14X inference improvement from just July 2017 in its XEON processors.  Overall there is a 30% gen/gen improvement in XEON, the biggest jump in 5 years.  While staying at 10NM, Intel is able to continue to squeeze performance gains out of the server.

It is important as we hit the limits of process geometry that everything be accelerated, especially with Intel having a similar view of AI workloads and that’s what we saw with Intel.  New Optane memory, new persistent memory, faster Adapter cards which will lead to more Smart NIC announcements, and a 10nm FPGA.  It was clear at the event that large cloud provers like AWS, Azure, and Tencent are looking at all avenues to increase performance and reduce power consumption via software and hardware advancements.

Some interesting highlights included AWS touting over 100 unique instances that leverage Intel processers with more SAP instances running on AWS than anywhere else and Formula 1 using of 65 years of historic race data to train its models in order to make real-time race predictions.