Ice Lake 10nm Xeon Scalable On Display

One of the more sedate talks at the event was discussing Intel’s approach in the datacenter. We’ve covered this story in detail, especially at Intel’s Data-Centric Summit only a few months ago. Intel has stated that Cascade Lake and Cooper Lake are the next two products for the enterprise market, both built on 14nm, focusing on enhanced security as well as AI instructions to help with acceleration. We also know that after these two Intel will have Ice Lake Scalable built on 10nm, but that’s about it.

To be honest, we don’t actually know much more than what we did back then. Intel confirmed that Ice Lake will be built using Sunny Cove cores. But Intel also showed off what they said was an Ice Lake Xeon 10nm processor and package, as shown in the image above.

Color me skeptical, but what was held up is likely either not ICL-SP or just silicon that doesn’t work. In order to make those products, Intel would have to have pumped out at least one large (350mm2+?) die that worked and then put it into a package with a heatspreader. Intel finally seems to be happy discussing a few products on 10nm, as shown at this event, but all the 10nm hardware is based on tiny 100mm2 or smaller silicon. Given Intel’s documented problems, I would have loved that CPU that was held up in the air to be Ice Lake-SP. But I’ll need to see something more concrete to believe it at this point; it’s too much of a jump.

Ending Intel’s Architecture Day

As I’m writing this, it is 3am PT and only a couple of hours away from Intel’s listed embargo time. The event finished 10 hours ago (a few of us skipped the end event drinks to get to writing) and despite the short time to write it all up, it was a good event overall. For the first time in a good while, Intel decided to talk shop, and in an honest way with very little hand waving. One could argue that in every discussion point, Intel raised more questions than they answered, but the positive here is that questions are being answered, and Intel is willing to share things like roadmaps into 2021, demonstrations of some exciting new products for 2019/2020, and a taste of how they are progressing in both manufacturing and microarchitecture. Hopefully Intel will feel the same and this can become a yearly cadence. The trio of Keller, Koduri, and Murthy, is a strong team to field to the press, and this event fits that bill.

To end this piece, I’m going to put in the Q&A section from day’s presentations, as well as some of the questions put in my particular round-table. It’s an interesting read, and it helps that Jim is full of memorable quotes.

Intel’s First Fovoros and First Hybrid x86 CPU: Core plus Atom in 7 W on 10 nm Intel Made Something Really Funny: Q&A with Raja, Jim, and Murthy
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  • iwod - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    Except external GPU. Reply
  • Icehawk - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    The number of those sold can be counted on one hand. Ok, maybe two,

    In all my years I've used a FW cable exactly once.

    I've seen a total of two thunderbolt cables, our Mac guy had them for some crap he was doing. IOW, dead just like FW. Proprietary stuff just doesn't tend to last long in an open, commodity, market when equivalents are available for free or pennies on the dollar.
    Reply
  • dampf - Wednesday, January 2, 2019 - link

    Because nobody knows about it. I'm sure there is a big market for that, just connect a GPU to your laptop via thunderbolt 3 and enjoy high end gaming! Reply
  • johannesburgel - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    Nonsense, it's exactly the other way around. Everything is converging on PCI Express. Every peripheral which can actually profit from USB3 speeds would be better off with a direct PCI Express connection instead, and Thunderbolt can do that. USB3 on the other hand requires protocol conversion on both ends of the cable. Instead of being able to just plug a normal GPU, an off-the-shelf NVMe SSD or any other standard device into an external enclosure, without any hardware or driver adaptions, people have to come up with USB3 interface chips and special USB variants of every device.

    USB3 never had a reason to exist.
    Reply
  • HStewart - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    I guess you have never truly experience Thunderbolt - it has 40G rate compare USB 3.0 and currently drives a doc - powering multiple monitors plus multiple devices - also remember that it is a superset of USB C Gen 2.

    Not to mention it has external GPU via PCIe.
    Reply
  • HStewart - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    TB3 is open up - I believe I saw some foreign TB3 controller out there - but there maybe support issue - Reply
  • npz - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    > The other demo was Tekken 7, being run on a Sunny Cove + Gen11 machine and compared to a Skylake + Gen9 implementation. It looked a good deal smoother that’s for sure, however it was clear that it had some way to go to be fully out of the 30 FPS minimums.

    FYI Tekken 7 like all fighting games, run at 60 fps. It's actually a requirement since mechanics and gameplay are tied to it. Less fps means slower speed and not dropped/skipped frames at least for single player like in other games

    So from this I take it that while Gen 11 is a sizeable improvement from Gen 9, it's not a big enough leap yet to compete with the lower end discrete gaming cards.
    Reply
  • Gc - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    _e
    X
    looks like it stands for x'ellerator, for many hardware accelerator markets, not just gaming.

    Visually, it looks like a tuxedoed figure skater X holding up Microsoft's 'e'.
    Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    “a customer asked for a product of about this performance but with a 2 mW standby power state. In order to do this, Intel created and enhanced a number of technologies inside the company. The final product is apparently ideal for the customer, however the chip will also be made available for other OEMs.”

    Clearly Apple.
    Reply
  • StrainedDig4 - Thursday, December 13, 2018 - link

    Is there a reason when I expand the text screen your video Ads pop up onto the screen, refuse to quit and obscure 1/4 of the display? Are your readers displeasure less important than advertising dollars? I don’t read your articles to buy things, I have Amazon for that, I read to become more informed. Kindly let me know why your pages have become Tomshardware.com lookalikes... Reply

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