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Intel 10nm ‘Ice Lake SP’ 14 Core Server CPU Gets First Selfie On SiSoft Sandra, Over 54% IPC Improvement

Feb 16, 2020
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It's official: Intel's high-performance 10nm is finally here. After what seems like years of waiting, Intel's high-performance 10nm processors have entered final testing stages and the tell-tale leaks are beginning to sprout everywhere. After trialing 10nm low power in low volume production a year or so back, it seems like Intel is finally snapping out of its reverie and overcoming this increasingly tall obstacle. This particular leak showcases a 10nm 14-core/28-thread part that unless I am very much mistaken had its sibling benchmarked just a few days ago on Geekbench.

Intel's high performance 10nm Ice Lake CPUs are officially here: spotted on Sisoft Sandra with over 54% IPC improvement in certain benchmarks

An appearance on Sisoft Sandra usually happens after all the initial prototyping stages have completed and the final clocks and specs are being finalized. The CPU in question has 14 cores based on the Ice Lake architecture along with 28 threads. It features 21 MB of L3 cache and 17.5 MB of L2. The base clock speed is 2 GHz (turbo is not being shown here). Considering the nomenclature of the processor is hidden, this likely originated from one of Intel's testing labs.

In processor arithmetic, the CPU scores 360 GOPs. Processor MultiMedia performance is 1.4 Gpix/s while cryptography is 23 GB/s. Memory bandwidth (at 2666 MHz) is 98.1 GB/s. These are incredibly decent results for a 14 core that is clocked at just 2 GHz. To put this into perspective a Intel Xeon Gold 6132 (in dual-socket configuration scores around 750 GOPs at 3.2 GHz). That is 8.4 points per clock per core (750/28/3.2=8.4). This particular Ice lake scores 360 GOPs with 12.9 points per clock per core (360/14/2=12.9). This is an IPC increase of roughly 54% - a very impressive amount. A decently clocked Ice Lake part would absolutely decimate previous generation parts.

Intel's Ice Lake CPUs based on Sunny Cove architecture will bring the first radical new re-write of the company's CPU architecture and were already expected to show huge gains in performance and power efficiency. While Intel had already sort of hammered in the idea that Sunny Cove would be revolutionary, we are seeing for the first time the extent thereof. Intel's existing server-side platform is called Purley and the Ice Lake derivative that will succeed Purley has been codenamed Whitley. We have also previously seen the following leak from Geekbench:

We are looking at a server application of the processor as is evident by the massive RAM array and Microsoft Server OS. The part in question is a 12-core /24- thread CPU which would put it in the low-end of the Ice Lake SP (Whitley) lineup. There are also the usual Geekbench misreads including name and the topology but the identifier speaks for itself. Another thing you will notice is that the CPU had a turbo of 2.7 GHz. This is far less than the clock speeds attained by modern Intel processors but something we have expected. While clock speeds will almost certainly improve after prototyping and testing, we do expect Ice Lake CPUs to clock less than 14nm parts for the obvious reason of process maturity.

That said, I was surprised to see just how much performance this CPU was able to squeeze out. The Intel Whitley Ice Lake SP CPU ES sample scored a multi-core score of almost 28,000 points - which is a very impressive result for a 12-core part. I am also fairly certain that power efficiency would have gone through the roof as well. One thing is for sure, Ice Lake is on the prowl and AMD is about to face some serious competition.

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