Intel has released its Xeon E5-2600 processor family for servers, bringing its ‘Sandy Bridge’ architecture and Advanced Vector Extension instruction set to enterprise applications, including for low-latency trading.
Intel claims that the 2600 can double the performance of computational applications, such as financial number crunching – analytics, complex algorithms, risk management. Implemented on 32-nanometre silicon, the chip features up to eight cores and is designed for two-socket servers, supporting up to 768 GB RAM.
The new AVX instructions are for floating point math. The chip can execute two floating point instructions per processor cycle, with 256-bit processing. That’s double what Intel’s 5600 chips can do.
The chips also support faster I/O, allowing Ethernet traffic to route directly to processor cache memory. And PCI Experess 3.0 connectivity is also built into the processor. Collectively, these features will reduce latency.
Interestingly, Intel plans to install these chips not only in desktops and servers, but also in storage and network communications devices. For the latter, it will also look to technology from its Fulcrum Systems and QLogic acquisitions, potentially to one day become a credible competitor to the likes of Cisco Systems and Arista Networks.