Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Intel details 10-core Westmere-EX server silicon

Intel has confirmed that its upcoming Westmere-EX server processor will be a 10-core, server-enhanced, single-die beastie.

No surprise. Back in June, when the program for this week's Hot Chips conference was published, it listed a session in which Intel would discuss "A 20 Thread Server CPU". It was a no-brainer to deduce the Westmere-EX's core count from that bit of info, seeing as how Intel's Hyper-Threading Technology is a two-threads-per-core scheme.

And that's exactly what Intel announced on Tuesday at the conference, held on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

Also unsurprising was that Intel engineer Dheemanth Nagaraj, the lead microarchitect for the Westmere-EX and its presenter at Hot Chips, neither revealed any details about the processor's eventual clock speeds nor made any definitive predictions of its performance.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fujitsu 8-Socket Server Brings x86 Price Performance into Mission-Critical Computing

Driving the computing performance and speed of connectivity of FujitsuFujitsu's new eight-socket rack server is an innovative 'glue-less' design, where no additional Hardware is necessary to run all eight CPUs, therefore providing the shortest route between processors, memory modules and I/O hubs. More often, vendors simply 'glue together' multiple dual-socket server blades, which leads to I/O bottlenecks.

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Supermicro Intros Servers Optimized for AMD Opteron 6100 Series

Server technology innovator Super Micro Computer Inc. launched this week its first servers optimized for the new 8- and 120-core AMD Opteron 6100 Series processors (codenamed "Magny Cours").

The launch includes Supermicro‘s new 2U Twin2 systems with four hot-plug DP computing nodes (supporting up 96 processing cores), quad-processor 1U servers that support up to 48 processing cores in 1U, and new GPU-optimized systems.

In addition to these system architectures, Supermicro is also introducing advanced new UP, DP, and MP solutions in standard 1U, 2U, 4U, and tower form factors.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

AMD's 'Magny-Cours' Server Chip Aims at Volume Market

On Monday, Advanced Micro Devices announced Magny-Cours, the code-name for both 8- and 12-core processors which will be sold under the name Opteron 6100.

A second family, a 4- and 6-core chip, will be sold as part of the Opteron 4000 family, or the "Lisbon" code name.

Systems using the chip will be available from Cray, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard in the United States; Acer will also build servers around the new Opterons in Europe. HP will offer "broad-based support" for the new chip, according to John Fruehe, the director of marketing for server and workstation processors for AMD. Dell, meanwhile, will offer the chips as part of its Data Center Solutions (DCS) service, as well as in PowerEdge servers.

Although AMD announced the new processors on Monday, chips from the new line began shipping in February.

Read Full Article Here:,2817,2361926,00.asp

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Intel Partners See 'Easy' Upgrade Path With Xeon 5600 Chips

One word to describe upgrade opportunities around Intel's new Xeon 5600 series of server and workstation processors? "Easy," said a number of Intel system builder partners following Tuesday's launch of the chip giant's Westmere-class series of quad-core and six-core Xeon chips.

"It's a complete drop in to the existing platforms, which is great," said Todd Swank, director of marketing at Burnsville, Minn.-based system builder Nor-Tech. "With just a BIOS upgrade needed, it makes it easy to upgrade our current Intel server offerings."

Swank, like many Intel partners in attendance at this week's Intel Solutions Summit (ISS) in Las Vegas, said a simple swap-out of last year's quad-core Xeon 5500 series chips for a new six-core Xeon 5600 series part would deliver "an automatic 30 percent increase in performance."

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Intel to Launch Eight-core Nehalem-EX This Month

Intel will release its fastest and highly anticipated eight-core Nehalem-EX server processor later this month, a company executive said late Thursday.

The processor will be targeted at four-socket servers, said Shannon Poulin, Xeon platform director at Intel. Each physical core will be able to run two threads simultaneously, giving the chip 64 virtual processing cores on servers.

Intel's CEO Paul Otellini has described Nehalem-EX as Intel's fastest processor to date. The chip maker announced the processor last year, and said it would release the chip in the first half of this year, but did not provide an exact release date.

Poulin declined to provide the clock speed of the chips. However, the company has said it will include 24MB of cache, and 2.3 billion transistors.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

IBM Previews New Server Architecture

IBM on Tuesday announced new System x and BladeCenter servers, which are based on a new server design that the company claims will boost application performance while reducing energy costs in data centers.

The EX5 servers take a step away from traditional x86 server architecture in which processors and memory are locked together. The new server architecture decouples memory from the processors into separate units, according to IBM.

That could help the memory and processor scale separately for faster application performance, while slashing down on storage and energy costs, the company said. IBM is previewing the servers at the CeBIT trade show being held in Hanover, Germany.

"All the new systems have improved energy efficiency in their designs across a wide range of components achieving substantial energy savings when compared to the current generation of similar servers," said Ronald Hagan, vice president of the System x business at IBM.

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CeBIT 2010 : Mission-critical features now in Nehalem-EX parts.

What Would You Do With 48 Cores?

Here’s a chance for US customers to let AMD know. In a blog post on, John Fruehe kicked March off with a great new contest. Customers can submit a short essay, submit a video or write a blog telling us what they would do with 48 cores to help change the world. The winner will be chosen by an esteemed group of AMD marketing professionals.

One winner will be selected and awarded with:

• Four new AMD Opteron™ processors Model 6174, 12-core (2.2 GHz)
• TYAN S8812 motherboard: the motherboard is a Tyan S8812 that features 4 processor sockets with the capacity for you to install up to 8 DIMMs per socket
• One copy of Windows Server® 2008

Approximate retail value of all prizes is $8,189 USD.

Spread the word: You can use the following custom URL to get the message out:

Friday, February 19, 2010

AMD Begins Revenue Shipments of Twelve-Core Opteron Microprocessors.

Advanced Micro Devices said Friday that it had started shipments of its highly-anticipated twelve-core AMD Opteron microprocessors code-named Magny-Cours. The company indicated that the shipments are limited and are intended to prepare for the launch of servers powered by the new chips due later this quarter.

“We have been aggressively sampling production-level parts to customers for nearly 30 days now and have actually shipped a limited number of production parts to allow customers to prepare for launch – on track for later this quarter,” said Phil Hughes, a spokesman for AMD.
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Intel Itanium outsells AMD Opteron

Intel Itanium outsells AMD Opteron

Intel kicked off its Itanium presentation today by saying the Itanium's system revenue since the introduction of 2001 has crossed the $5 billion mark. That outsells total sales of AMD's Opterons.

And, according to IDC Itanium sales surpassed all of SPARC sales for the first time since the introduction of the Itanium. That was in 2001 and was the culmination of former CEO Andy Grove's dreams of a microprocessor that was truly mission critical.

Never before has Intel put two billion transistors onto a transistor. The presenter said that if I started clicking on his foils and there were two billion of them, it would take 62 years, Intel put six microprocessors into the last platform. But corporate customers demand investment protection. This will be the first time Intel will be able to connect eight microprocessors "gluelessly" and without "forklifting" and they can be interconnected seamlessly like 64 socket systems that will be available from HP.

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The Intel Itanium Processor 9300 Series

Intel releases the new Intel Itanium 9300 Series processor which supports up to Eight-Socket Glueless systems and servers!!

Mark this as the first day of the new Supercomputing Revolution!

Read Product Details Here. 

Then Open A Beer. It's Time To Celebrate!!!

The New Industrial Revolution

In the February 2010 issue of Wired Magazine, there is a cover story on the New Industrial Revolution written by Chris Anderson. 

It explains how industries are currently being reinvented and how the little guy has just as much chance to compete and win business as do the massive corporations who were successful during the last millenium. 

It's mind blowing stuff for people who want to know where to find the business opportunities of the future!

Here's the accompanying video to the article:

Here's a link to the article:

If this story and video inspired you as much as it did me, please let me know in the comments section.


Todd Swank

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Intel Readies Six-Core 'Westmere' Server Chip

At the ISSCC show next week, Intel officials will talk about their upcoming 32-nm “Westmere” processors for servers and clients, including a six-core version for two-socket servers and high-end desktops. Intel is looking to refresh its entire server lineup, not only with Westmere processors but also with the upcoming Nehalem EX chip and the next-generation Itanium processor, called “Tukwila.” AMD and IBM also are getting ready to release new server products.

Intel is looking to quickly expand the number of its 32-nanometer “Westmere” processors, and will offer a six-core version for both two-socket servers and high-end desktops.

In addition, the company will roll out a dual-core chip for mainstream desktops and mobile PCs.

Intel will present papers on the upcoming Westmere offerings at the International Solid State Circuits Conference 2010 show, which runs Feb. 7-11 in San Francisco. Intel officials gave a preview Feb. 3 of what they’ll talk about.

Intel rolled out its first Westmere chips Jan. 7 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, unveiling more than two dozen 32-nm chips that fell into the Core i3, i5 and i7 families for desktops and laptops.

Read Full Article Here:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Super Micro grows like crazy in fiscal Q2

If motherboard and server maker Super Micro is some kind of leading indicator - and a good argument could be made that it is - then the server and PC rackets may indeed be on the mend.

In the company's second quarter of fiscal 2010 ended December 31, Super Micro reported sales of $182m, up a stunning 41.5 per cent from the year-ago quarter. Thanks to tighter cost controls - a little less on research and development, and a bit more for sales, marketing, and other costs - Super Micro was able to boost net income by 42.2 per cent to $7.6m.

Thanks in large part to the rebounding server business, where Super Micro sells a dizzying array of motherboards for the latest chips from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, Super Micro has been able to increase its cash and equivalents pile by 17.1 per cent to $82.7m; it also has $6.2m in long-term investments.

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Intel Ships Next-generation Itanium Chip

Intel on Tuesday said it has started shipping its new Itanium processor codenamed Tukwila, after multiple delays and development problems stalled its release for years.

Itanium chips are 64-bit processors designed to run fault-tolerant servers that require high uptime. The chip's official launch is set for the first quarter of this year, Intel said in a blog entry.

Tukwila is Intel's fastest Itanium processor yet, the company said. It adds numerous performance and architectural enhancements to boost system performance, Intel said in the blog.

"Tukwila more than doubles the performance of its predecessor and adds a range of new scalability, reliability, and virtualization features," Intel wrote. The chip includes a quad-core design and will be an upgrade of the current Itanium 9100 series of chips, codenamed Montecito, which were introduced in 2006.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Brits choose Altix UV supers to fight cancer

The Altix UV massively parallel supers might not be shipping until the third quarter of this year, but Silicon Graphics is lining up customers who want to get the box early. The latest customer to ink a deal for an Altix UV is the United Kingdom's Institute of Cancer Research.

Because Intel has yet to launch the "Beckton" eight-core Nehalem-EX processors that are the compute engines in the Altix UV machines, the details are a bit sketchy on exactly what ICR is buying, and the organization did not divulge what systems it currently has in place in Reading, where ICR does research and simulations to come up with new treatments for a variety of cancers.

ICR was founded in 1909 and is a college in the University of London. It is partnered with the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. According to ICR's 2009-2015 strategic planning report, the researchers laboring at the facility were the first to figure out that DNA damage causes cancer and figured out the link between smoking and lung cancer. ICR has drilled down deeper into the cell genetics to find out what genes are associated with which cancers, leading to earlier detection, and it has synthesized chemotherapy drugs and tweaked radiotherapy techniques so they are less toxic and more effective.

Read Full Article Here:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Intel Expects More Enterprise Dollars in 2010

Despite a super-positive fourth-quarter earnings call, Intel wasn't very pleased with enterprise spending in 2009, instead noting that consumers drove the company's revenue up.

"It was not a robust year in the enterprise," said Paul Otellini, CEO, Intel.

Otellini also expects that to change in 2010 while Intel does its part in helping push the corporate market. Not only will Intel release its eight-core Nehalem EX Xeon processor for servers with four or more sockets, but the chip maker also plans to replace every chip in its server portfolio with 32nm Westmere parts, and do so within the next 90 days, Otellini said.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Intel to release Westmere server chips in three months

Intel plans to release next-generation Xeon server processors based on the Westmere microarchitecture in the next three months, the company said on Thursday.

Intel plans to refresh its line of Xeon server chips as it ramps up chip production to the 32-nanometer process, said Paul Otellini, Intel's CEO, during a financial earnings call. Intel last week released the first Westmere chips for desktops and laptops, and Xeon server chips are next in line, Otellini said.

The last refresh for server chips was in March last year, when the company announced a range of Xeon 5500 series and 3500 series chips based on the Nehalem architecture. The chips were made using the 45-nm process.

The highly anticipated eight-core Nehalem-EX server chip will also be released in the first half, an Intel spokesman said on Thursday. Nehalem-EX will be Intel's fastest server chip to date, Otellini said during the call. The chip will be manufactured using the 45-nm process.

Read Full Article Here:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Intel Sees Strong Q4, Fueled by New Products, Consumer Demand

Otellini also said Intel was planning to refresh its entire line of server portfolio with 32-nm processors, and noted the improvements in performance and energy efficiency in the company’s upcoming eight-core “Nehalem EX” processor for servers with four or more sockets.

“Nehalem EX represents the biggest increase in performance in the history of the Xeon brand,” he said.

Otellini said he expects enterprises will see some of the pressure being taken off their budgets, and that unlike in 2009, they will have good reason to refresh their hardware, whether it’s servers or PCs. Still, neither he nor Smith would venture any predictions for corporate spending in 2010.

Read Full Article Here:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

AMD's Server Roadmap Plots a Course for HPC

Our recent coverage of AMD's Financial Analyst Day outlined the chipmaker's overall server strategy for the next couple of years, but left a lot to the imagination with regard to how all this might play out in the high performance computing space. The presentation for the analysts barely acknowledged the HPC market, instead emphasizing AMD's main thrusts in the mainstream server and client segments. In a more recent conversation with John Fruehe, AMD's director of product marketing for the server and embedded group, we were able to get a better idea of how the company sees its HPC prospects for 2010 and beyond.

One might wonder how much AMD -- or Intel, for that matter -- thinks about the HPC market these days. Despite a better growth rate than the mainstream server market, HPC still only represents between 2 to 10 percent of server chip revenue, depending on who you talk to. In the commodity chip business, that's too small a segment to inspire separate processor designs, but too big to ignore. "The beauty of HPC," says Fruehe, "is that you have an opportunity to sell large numbers of processors in a single shot." According to him, that is reason enough to stay in the game.

And in any case, many mainstream enterprise applications require essentially the same performance characteristics as HPC workloads: large numbers of fast cores and high memory bandwidth. The soon-to-be-released 45nm Magny-Cours Opteron sports 8 or 12 cores and four memory channels. That design, says Fruehe, is well-suited to HPC workloads, and he believes it will help them capture more of the server market in 2010. Magny-Cours' current competition is the quad-core Nehalem EP, which has three memory channels, and the 8-core Nehalem EX that can support up to eight sockets. The idea is that Magny-Cours will outrun Nehalem EP on memory bandwidth and out-compete Nehalem EX on price and power consumption.

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