Intel® Cluster Ready Partner Newsletter Q1 2012 - Feature Stories

Intel® Xeon® Processor E5 Family (Sandy Bridge-EP) – Launched!

The Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family (codenamed Sandy Bridge-EP) has launched, and you can be sure of one thing: it will soon be blowing the top off your customers’ HPC performance expectations. The latest Intel Xeon processor and the “Romley” platform that supports it deliver everything you’d expect in a new Intel product generation, along with a number of very significant new features you might not expect. It increases computing resources in virtually every dimension and already sits at number 15 on the Top500 list1-an early sign of even greater things to come.

Some of the most important new features include:

    • Twice the I/O Bandwidth with Lower Latency-With Intel® Integrated I/O, PCIe 3.0 support is built into the processor, reducing I/O latency by up to 32% and increasing I/O bandwidth by up to 2x. Full-speed FDR InfiniBand* fabrics can now be used. Large message passing bandwidth is increased and small message passing latency is reduced.

    • Double the Socket-to-Socket Bandwidth-A second Intel® QuickPath Interconnect (Intel® QPI) link has been added between processors to improve system communications in two-socket servers.

    • More Cache per Core-With up to 2.5MB of cache per core, the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 increases the maximum cache per core by 0.5MB versus previous-generation processors.

    • Up to 2x Faster Floating-Point Performance-Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions (Intel® AVX) provides new instructions that can dramatically improve performance.

    • More and Faster Memory-With additional DDR3 memory channels operating at up to 1600MHz, the new platform accelerates memory performance and supports up to 768GB of memory per dual-socket system.

  • Up to 80% Higher Overall Performance and 50% More Performance per Watt compared with previous-generation Intel Xeon processor-based servers.

Everything You Need to Begin Building Your Clusters
Intel has been working closely with hardware and software vendors and system integrators to ensure that commercial HPC applications and cluster management solutions are ready for the Intel Xeon processor E5 family and are able to take full advantage of the new features.

The Intel Cluster Ready team has also been hard at work preparing for this new processor. The Intel Cluster Ready architecture provides an optimized path for building cluster solutions, helping to ensure that clusters and applications work together correctly right off the shelf. A variety of resources are available now to help you build clusters with the new Intel Xeon processor E5 family, including:

    • Intel® Cluster Checker 1.8 which includes full support for the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family and the Romley platform.

  • An Intel Xeon Processor E5-2600 Cluster Solutions Guide will be available soon. This guide is designed to expedite the process of getting optimized clusters to market. It is a summary of research and testing performed by Intel and the Intel Cluster Ready Solutions Engineering team, not an installation recipe. The cluster solutions guide will provide an overview of supported components for the new Intel® Xeon processors, information and recommendations about Intel server hardware, new processor features, management software, storage, interconnects, and other HPC cluster components. By providing relevant information about known issues and currently supported component versions, and by pointing you to additional resources, this guide can help you get optimized clusters to market faster and with less effort. Watch for updates on the new Partner Resource “Toolkit” page.

Looking toward a somewhat longer event horizon, you’ll see how rapidly we’re moving toward exaflop computing performance. Progress is coming on two complementary fronts, and it’s coming faster than Moore’s Law, which has been our benchmark for performance scaling over the past few decades.

Welcome to a major boost in HPC performance and capability!

Ready to get started?
Additional Resources:

1 Top500 List - November 2011 (1-100). Top500® Computer Sites. November 2011. February 27, 2012.

Look For Intel® Cluster Ready

When you see the Intel Cluster Ready name, you can be assured the cluster solution complies with the Intel Cluster Ready specification and has passed the tests of the Intel® Cluster Checker.

For more information read the Intel® Cluster Ready Usage Guidelines.

Look for Intel Cluster Ready solution vendors.

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