Intel 14nm Broadwell-EP Family Launched – Xeon E5-2600 V4 For Next-Gen Workstation Platforms With 7.2 Billion Transistors

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Mar 31, 2016

Intel has finally launched their next-gen Broadwell-EP Xeon E5-2600 V4 family for workstation and data center platforms. The new CPU lineup makes use of the 14nm core architecture, featuring increased core count, core IPC improvements and better performance per watt compared to last generation workstation family (Xeon E5 V3).

Intel Broadwell-EP Xeon E5-2600 V4 – The Most Advanced Workstation and Data Center Family To Date

The Broadwell-EP family is based on the Broadwell architecture which is a highly scalable design. It is built to accommodate low-energy 4.5W SKUs and all the way up to 160W workstation chips that are launching today. The Broadwell-EP family comprises of several SKUs with the flagship product featuring the highest core count for any Intel processor to date.

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The new family delivers up to 44% better performance in application benches used to test out the next-gen processors. The scalability of the new family allows Intel to offer several dies on the same chip architecture which has been the scheme since the last generation of E5-2600 families.

The platform details mentioned by Intel indicate that Broadwell-EP utilizes the latest 14nm process node and features 20% more cores and 20% more LLC (Last Level Cache). We had previously mentioned that Intel’s Broadwell-EP platform will leverage from faster 2400 MHz DDR4 ram which is now available in the market, offering greater I/O throughput. New features also include new, increased resource monitoring and allocation capabilities. Some of these new technologies will allow better compatibility with data center Orchestration and Virtualization.

  • New Intel Xeon platform. Designed to support up to 22 cores and memory speeds of up to 2400MT/s, the new Intel Xeon® E5-2600 v4 processor offers up to 25 percent performance gains for HPE ProLiant Gen9 servers. The Intel® Xeon E5-2600 v4 processors include virtualization enhancements, added security and improved orchestration capabilities to help customers better manage shared platform resources. With these new processors, HPE has achieved several new #1 server benchmark performance positions in multiple categories, including results with Industry-First Big Data TPC Express Benchmark Big Bench (TPCx-BB), SPECjbb2015-Composite, SPECjbb2015-Distributed, and TPC-H.
  • Fast data transfer with high-speed DRAM in multiple configurations. HPE DDR4 2400 MHz memory is available in a variety of capacities starting at 8GB. For highest performance environments, HPE 128GB LRDIMMs offer extra density that delivers up to 23 percent better performance.
  • State of the art solid state drives (SSDs). HPE NVMe SSDs are compact, economical and offer up to 2TB of storage in a flexible package that includes Express Bay for front access to drives that are designed for big-ticket jobs, including online transaction processing, business intelligence and Big Data analytics.
  • Smart authentication. Adding TCG Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 specification 1.16 to HPE ProLiant Gen 9 servers provides a tamper-resistant environment to prevent unauthorized access to servers. TPM supports Microsoft BitLocker, which securely stores authentication elements, such as passwords and encryption keys.
  • HPE Application Migration to Cloud Solution. Secure, tested and validatedreference architecture delivered by HPE Technology Services experts to help customers migrate on-premises applications to a private cloud.

The entire family will be compatible with existing platforms and will run across the consumer and workstation class boards based on the LGA 2011-v3 and R3 sockets (C612 and X99 Chipsets).

Intel’s Xeon E5-2600 V4 Chips Feature An Insane 7.2 Billion Transistors on a 456mm2 Die

Talking about technical details, the Broadwell-EP Xeon E5-2600 V4 is an insane family with up to 7.2 billion total transistors packed inside a 456mm2 die. It should be noted that the last flagship chip in the Haswell-EP lineup in 2014 featured a maximum of 18 cores with 5.69 Billion transistors on a massive 662mm2 die. The 14nm process allows Intel to significantly cut down the die size while increasing both transistor count, core count and the IPC performance.

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Image Credits/Source: Computerbase

The Broadwell-EP family has three die variants. The most basic variant can accommodate 4 to 10 cores on a 246 mm2 die with 3.4 Billion transistors. The next die can feature 12 to 15 cores on a 306mm2 die with 4.7 billion transistors. The last die is the flagship one which comes with 16-24 cores and technical specifications have been detailed above. Do note that the Broadwell-EP flagship variant which is detailed below comes with a maximum of 22 cores while the flagship Broadwell-EN lineup for enterprise platforms will come with 24 14nm Broadwell cores.

Intel Xeon E5-2699 V4, The Flagship Broadwell-EP SKU

The top brass in the Broadwell-EP family consists of the Xeon E5-2699 V4 and the Xeon E5-2698 V4 processors which feature improved specifications over their predecessors in terms of core count. First up, we are looking at the flagship offering in the family known as the Xeon E5-2699 V4 which features the highest core count Intel has offered to date.

Image Credits/Source: Anandtech

With 22 cores and a multi-threaded design offering 44 threads, the chip packs insane CPU performance. With 2.5 MB cache scattered across each core, the die packs 55 MB L3 cache and is clocked at a range of 2.2 GHz base clock and up to 3.6 GHz boost clock. The entire chip has a TDP of 145W with workstation offerings of the chip going up to 160W. The new processors also deploy the latest AVX/AVX2 instructions with up to 22 levels of boost clocks.

Intel Broadwell-EP Lineup:

SKU NameCores/ThreadsBase ClockL3 Cache (LLC)TDPPrice
Intel Xeon E5-2699A V422/442.4 GHz55 MB145W$4938 US
Intel Xeon E5-2699 V422/442.2 GHz55 MB145W$4115 US
Intel Xeon E5-2698 V420/402.2 GHz50 MB135W$3228 US
Intel Xeon E5-2697A V416/322.6 GHz40 MB145W$2891 US
Intel Xeon E5-2697 V418/362.3 GHz45 MB145W$2702 US
Intel Xeon E5-2695 V418/362.1 GHz45 MB120W$2424 US
Intel Xeon E5-2696 V422/442.1 GHz55 MB150W$2321 US
Intel Xeon E5-2690 V414/282.6 GHz35 MB135W$2090 US
Intel Xeon E5-2687W V412/243.0 GHz30 MB160W$2141 US
Intel Xeon E5-2683 V416/322.1 GHz40 MB120W$1846 US
Intel Xeon E5-2680 V414/282.4 GHz35 MB120W$1745 US
Intel Xeon E5-2667 V48/163.2 GHz35 MB135W$2057 US
Intel Xeon E5-2660 V414/282.0 GHz35 MB105W$1445 US
Intel Xeon E5-2650L V414/281.7 GHz35 MB65W$1329 US
Intel Xeon E5-2650 V412/242.2 GHz30 MB105W$1166 US
Intel Xeon E5-2643 V46/123.4 GHz10 MB135W$1552 US
Intel Xeon E5-2640 v410/202.4 GHz25 MB90W$939 US
Intel Xeon E5-2637 v44/83.5 GHz5 MB135W$996 US
Intel Xeon E5-2630 v410/202.2 GHz25 MB85W$667 US
Intel Xeon E5-2630L v410/201.8 GHz25 MB55W$612 US
Intel Xeon E5-2623 V44/82.6 GHz5 MB85W$444 US
Intel Xeon E5-2620 v48/162.1 GHz20 MB85W$417 US
Intel Xeon E5-2609 V48/81.7 GHz20 MB85W$306 US
Intel Xeon E5-2603 v46/61.7 GHz10 MB85W$213 US

Intel Battles IBM in The High Performance Market

Surprising thing about this launch is that Intel is directly pitting their Broadwell-EP processors against the IBM Power8 parts. It looks clear that Intel considers IBM as their only competition in this high-performance sector and according to the slides, Intel’s products are vastly superior than IBM’s solution with 34% increase in total performance which also offers 4 times better performance per dollar value. The Intel solution also consumes half of the total power of an Power8 chip.

Intel’s flagship Xeon E5-2699 V4 chip is currently offered at a price of $4115 US while the entry level chip can be purchased for $217 US. Given the high-performance specifications of these chips, they can also work with Intel X99 platforms which are aimed at high-end desktop consumers. It makes sense to offer these on HEDT platform since it can support the brute nature of the workstation class processors. OEMs such as HP, SuperMicr, Lenovo  and Dell are already offering new systems with Broadwell-EP chips.

Image Credits/Source: ServerTheHome

Benchmarks from Serverthehome reveal that two of the top-end Xeon E5-2699 V4 chips perform very similar to quad Xeon E7-8870 V3 chips and sometimes even surpass the quad rack solution. The Xeon E5-2699 V4 chips blow away the Haswell based parts in single threaded performance and with just 44 cores and 88 threads, the solution is able to deliver performance on par to a 72 core and 144 thread solution which is impressive and that too being a Xeon E7 enterprise solution. Intel has really shown their performance lead in the workstation sector with the launch of Broadwell-EP family and they will further secure performance number leads with the next enterprise E7 V4 launch which will allow up to 8 socket solutions.