Intel's Xeon Phi: After Knights Landing Comes Knights Hillby Ryan Smith on November 18, 2014 10:00 AM EST
As SC’14 rolls on this week, taking part in the show’s events is Intel, who was at the show to deliver an update on the Xeon Phi lineup. As Intel already delivered a sizable update on Xeon Phi at ISC 2014 earlier this year, their SC’14 announcement is lighter fare, but we now know the name of the next generation of Xeon Phi.
First and foremost, Intel has reiterated that the forthcoming Knights Landing generation of Xeon Phi is still on schedule for H2’15. Built on Intel’s 14nm process, Knights Landing should be a substantial upgrade to the Xeon Phi family by virtue of its integration of Silvermont x86 cores and a new stacked memory technology, Intel & Micron’s MCDRAM.
Image Courtesy V3.co.uk
Meanwhile Intel also used this occasion to announce the next generation of Xeon Phi. Dubbed Knights Hill, it will be built on Intel’s forthcoming 10nm process technology. Like Intel’s early announcement of Knights Landing, they aren’t discussing the part in any more detail, though they have mentioned that it will use the next generation of their Omni-Path interconnect architecture. Given the use of 10nm and the timing of the Knights Landing launch, this is likely a 2017+ part.
Finally, Intel has also released a bit more information on Omni-Path. Previously announced alongside Knights Landing and newly renamed from Omni-Scale, Intel has announced that Omni-Path will offer link speeds of up to 100Gbps and its companion switch will offer 48 ports. As Intel has positioned Omni-Path as a competitor to Infiniband, at this point Intel is touting that they will be able to offer 56% lower switch fabric latency from the technology, as well as better density and scaling due to the larger number of ports available on the Omni-Path switch (48 vs. 36).
Image Courtesy V3.co.uk
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mevans336 - Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - linkWhat are the applications for this outside of the HPC market? Can I build a system with one of these and deploy a Windows or Linux private cloud on it?
nevertell - Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - linkYou'd run out of memory and the single core performance is abysmal. I don't believe that every single core on these can work in it's own context. And even if it did, the perf would not be enough to run a VM instance or a container instance for your regular cloud client.
DanNeely - Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - linkSince they're using silvermont cores this time around, the not enough single core performance argument doesn't hold; but it remains to be seen if they're providing the rest of the support framework needed to run an OS on each core. OTOH if the huge number of tiny arm servers in a box platform actually does show signs of taking off, something like this would probably be most of the way to giving Intel an off the shelf competitor.
xenol - Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - linkCouldn't you have the host processor run the VM manager itself, while each of these little cores (or two) run a lightweight Linux client?
But as you said, the Phi is probably not even built for that.
andychow - Friday, November 28, 2014 - linkI'm also very curious about this. It says "bootable processor", so I imagine there must be a way to boot an OS off the little cores. It's really weird, I look and look and I know nothing about this product, what it's used for, what it can do. So now I know that some successor is going to come out at 10nm, but still don't know what the product can do, use cases, etc.
vred - Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - linkBootable processor in 2015! Now that is interesting.
witeken - Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - linkThe 14nm Atom Tick is actually called Airmont, not Silvermont.
MrSpadge - Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - linkAs far as I know Intel have referred to them as Silvermont cores themselves. Airmont might bring minor architectural changes, which might not be included in Knights Landing (to speed up time to market). This would be similar to how Ivy is more than a straight die shrink of Sandy, despite it being "just a Tick".
Morawka - Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - linkairmont will be out waay sooner than you think. in the next year AFAIK. Supposedly it increases IPC 100%
Samus - Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - link10nm!?