Intel Unveils New Server Chips In Battle For Data Center Business


Intel announced on Tuesday a new line of microprocessor chips for corporate servers and cloud data centers, with a larger claimed boost in performance than expected as the firm sets up  a battle with Advanced Micro Devices and others in the lucrative business of supplying the chips that powers cloud computing.

Intel officially launched its much-anticipated Xeon Scalable server CPU line, formerly code-named Purley. The chips are based on Intel’s Skylake CPU architecture, which first appeared on the PC market in 2015, and are meant to replace two CPU lines, respectively code-named Brickland and Grantley, based on the older Broadwell architecture.

Intel’s Xeon Scalable Processor

The new Xeon Scalable Processor chips provide far better support for next-generation computing applications such as artificial intelligence and driverless cars, said Naveen Rao, vice president of Intel’s artificial intelligence products group, in an interview.

Under restriction on all sides of its lucrative server chip business, Intel said its new Xeon Scalable processors are 1.65 times as fast on average as its prior generation at common tasks run by servers. The huge jump included tweaks to software specially designed to accelerate tasks with Intel’s chips and will have to be confirmed by outside experts.

“This represents the best of our 20-year history of data center innovation,” said  Lisa Spelman, vice president of Intel’s data center group ahead of Tuesday’s presentation, noting that the prior chip generation just came out in March last year.

“That’s huge. That’s a lot to continue to deliver on the performance beat rate to our customers.”

The chips are aimed at companies including Alphabet’s Google, Microsoft Corp, Inc and others that operate data centers with thousands of computers, both to power their own services and to provide computing horsepower for customers who don’t want to own and maintain their own computer systems.

However, Intel will face tough competition from historic rival AMD, which recently launched its own next-generation data center processor. The big Internet companies are also doing more of their own hardware design and experimenting with chips based on technology from ARM Holdings and others, somewhat as a way of pushing Intel to keep prices in line.

Intel Stock Performance

Shares of Intel were up 0.80% to $33.92 in its last session. It opened at $33.64, with a session high of $33.93 and a session low of $33.43. The stock currently has a market capitalization of $158.64 billion, a price earnings ratio of 14.73, and a dividend yield of 3.21%.

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