Intel has initiated its product discontinuance plan for its Xeon Phi 7200-series processors codenamed Knights Landing (KNL). The said CPUs are used primarily for HPC applications, including supercomputers. As it appears, demand for these chips is not exactly great, which is why Intel does not see any reasons to keep producing them. At the same time, the company will keep offering its codenamed Knights Mill (KNM) solutions for Deep Learning.

Intel announced product discontinuance plan for the Xeon Phi 7210, 7210F, 7230, 7230F, 7250, 7250F, 7290, and 7290F processors on Monday. The process of their phasing out is not going to take long. The company’s customers are told to place their final orders on these CPUs by August 31, 2018. Meanwhile, the final products will be delivered by July 19, 2019.

As usual, Intel explained that “market demand for the products has shifted to other Intel products,” indicating that its Xeon Phi 7200-series processors in LGA3647-1 form-factor might not exactly popular among target customers in the technical computing space. The said processors feature from 64 to 72 HPC-enhanced Atom Silvermont cores that process up to four threads of code simultaneously and are outfitted with 16 GB of high-bandwidth MCDRAM memory. As for throughput, socketed Xeon Phi KNL processors offer 3-3.4 TFLOPS of double precision floating point (FP64) performance.

Intel announced the EOL plan for HPC-oriented many-core Xeon Phi 7200-series “Knights Landing” CPUs about 11 months after it decided not to release its Xeon Phi 7200-series coprocessor cards. The latter only offered performance of up to 3 TFLOPS FP64 and featured considerably more limited I/O options than their socketed counterparts: they only had 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes (vs. 36 lanes on CPUs) and they did not support Intel’s OmniPath fabric (unlike the Xeon Phi 7200F-series CPUs) that is particularly useful for supercomputer deployments. Meanwhile, since socketed Knights Landing CPUs do not support multi-processor configurations, the coprocessors cards could be used for density, which is crucially important for HPC applications. As it appears, Intel first decided to EOL KNL cards and eliminate their density advantage, but now it decided to discontinue even the processors, possibly because of low interest from potential customers.

AVX-512 Support Propogation by Various Intel CPUs
  Xeon, Core X General Xeon Phi  
Skylake-SP AVX512BW
AVX512DQ
AVX512VL
AVX512F
AVX512CD
AVX512ER
AVX512PF
Knights Landing
Cannon Lake AVX512VBMI
AVX512IFMA
AVX512_4FMAPS
AVX512_4VNNIW
Knights Mill
Ice Lake AVX512_VNNI
AVX512_VBMI2
AVX512_BITALG
AVX512+VAES
AVX512+GFNI
AVX512+VPCLMULQDQ
AVX512_VPOPCNTDQ
Source: Intel Architecture Instruction Set Extensions and Future Features Programming Reference (pages 12 and 13)
Bold: Supported by Knights Landing

The discontinuance of Intel’s Xeon Phi 7200-series Knights Landing CPUs does not mean the end of the road for the product family in general. Intel will continue to offer its Xeon Phi 7235/7285/7295 “Knights Mill” CPUs optimized for Deep Learning applications, but featuring a lot of similarities with the Knights Landing. Nonetheless, with the cancellation of Knights Hill and obvious problems with Intel’s 10 nm process technology, it looks like the company will not have a competitive Xeon Phi product for the HPC market for quite some time.

Related Reading

Source: Intel

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  • HStewart - Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - link

    "Larabee's baby"

    Oddly even though PHI was never intended as graphics card - it possible research for Artic Sound and Raju may have made PHI chips obsolete for new technology coming.
    Reply
  • edzieba - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - link

    "Oddly even though PHI was never intended as graphics card"

    A common misconception. Larrabee is Xeon Phi is Larrabee. The die is identical, the only difference is Larrabee is running the Dx-on-x86 software and the PCB has the DVI header populated. ( http://tomforsyth1000.github.io/blog.wiki.html#[[Why%20didn%27t%20Larrabee%20fail%3F]] link will probably break, Forsyth has square brackets in his URLs fro some reason)
    Reply
  • HStewart - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - link

    In any case, Intel really did not market it as graphics card - and I have been dealing with graphics card since days that AMD graphics were ATI not intelligent devices - I actually talk on phone with ATI developer almost 30 years ago. Also before NVidia GPU were NVIdia - IE 3dfx Voodoo. which is where I started out with my desktop GPU. Reply
  • Yojimbo - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - link

    "Larrabee is Xeon Phi is Larrabee. The die is identical, the only difference is Larrabee is running the Dx-on-x86 software and the PCB has the DVI header populated"

    While Xeon Phi came directly from Larrabee it is not true that the dies are identical, especially Knights Landing (KNL) Firstly, the core was changed. KNL uses a Silvermont core that I believe has been heavily modified, plus it has AVX-512 which is doing the heavy lifting in HPC. Larrabee (as well as first gen Xeon Phi) used a P5 based core. The fabric tying the cores together has also been significantly changed for KNL.
    Reply
  • JKflipflop98 - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - link

    The sad thing here is that Intel should rule the GPU market. Imagine for a moment Nvidia's 1080Ti GPU fabbed on Intel's p1272 process. It would absolutely destroy anything else on the market by a wide margin. Intel is good at one thing and one thing only, and that's producing silicon circuitry. GPU devices fall directly into Intel's strong suit, but the upper management is too stupid to realize it. They're so concerned with hiring people of color that they couldn't care less about the actual product.

    What a bunch of morons.
    Reply
  • yeeeeman - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - link

    They were good, but they hit a wall at 10nm. Reply
  • Dragonstongue - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - link

    Intel should rule GPU market.. AH HA HA HA HA.

    HArd to rule anything when you did not make the base line code for what makes a gpu a gpu
    most if not all the tech and code required for doing so is owned by AMD and Nvidia.

    Intel has x86 with x64 support (courtesy of AMD) a corporation no matter how "mighty they are" is capable of owning everything (especially in the tech world)

    Apple does not make its own GPU when they can just buy them at a fraction of the cost vs producing, IBM does not (shell of what they once were) many other companies/corporations do not make their own GPU...I wonder why that is?

    is it possible it is "not worth it" when they can just buy them from companies that have sunk massive resources and legal IP protection, I think so.

    why did Intel purchase Vega (already built and programmed by AMD) on their new APU model, because Intel is unable to build something that is as fully feature/spec rich as buying something pre-built by AMD (Ngreedia head is way too full of air these days) otherwise all mighty Intel according to you would have had the best of the best GPU years and years ago, BUT they never have had "decent" graphics compared to the gaming and overall capability GPU that AMD or Nvidia produce.

    they can produce some that just rely on cpu like "grunt" basic 3d type, which is where all their designs have focused, but, folks also want/need stuff that can do advanced 3d and 2d for computer, graphics etc which Intel has never been very capable at, and even something like their Phi cards while are "beasts" are really slouches compared to the real beasts which are the top class Radeons or Geforce cards lets alone the top models from them.
    Reply
  • FreckledTrout - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - link

    I'll make a prediction that this is exactly what they are doing. They are going to phase in a GPU in 2020 after they phase out the Phi mid 2019. Likely it will be AI / mining focused. Reply
  • Machinus - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - link

    The KNL PCI cards were excellent products. They are an entire cluster in one card. It is a shame that Intel did not continue to develop these.

    AMD excels in power-efficient, many-core CPU products. I would like to see them produce a card like this for HPC use.
    Reply
  • Meteor2 - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - link

    This. There are certainly workloads -- most significantly weather forecasting -- that Phi suited better than either general-purpose CPUs or GPUs, in term of a) perf/Watt and b) can actually be run. Lots of stuff can't be done on GPGPUs.

    I guess it just wasn't a big enough niche.
    Reply

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