Intel Keeps on Ticking (and Tocking)

Tom’s Hardware has a good review of an early engineering sample Intel Xeon E5-2697 V2, 12-core, 22nm processor (here) fueling speculation that it will appear in the next generation Mac Pro.   Now that the Xeon processors are moving to the 22 nm node on the Intel roadmap, when will mobile broadband operators benefit from this performance gains in their infrastructure equipment?  If mobile operators and their vendors embrace the commercial IT and SDN/NFV paradigms, then they can very quickly reap benefits by adding this processing capability to their server farms.  WebScale firms will take advantage of the performance boost as soon as the commercial IT kit gets through the pipeline.

But Moore’s Clock keeps on ticking, and as soon as operators are comfortable with the 22 nm benefits, it is Tick-Tock again and the 14 nm node is at hand.  The challenge for both telecom operators and their infrastructure vendors is managing the paradigm shift from legacy business practices to the IT ecosystem practices.


In the recent ABI Research report, White Box SDN/NFV, the implications for the mobile broadband ecosystem are laid bare, especially with the predictable evolution to 14 nm and beyond.  For example, here is a speed – power view of Xeon evolution that helps understand the trends.


So where is  the  22 nm E5?  and where will the 14 nm map?  They will be off the scale to the upper left, and with tri-gate FinFets, we might see another leap in speed-power performance. 


So, fire up the FTL drive and take a look after the jump!  The only missing piece to this puzzle is the remaining argument for purpose built hardware and the 3G/4G data plane.   If Intel’s proposal to include merchant silicon communication and packet processing into a standard server design gains traction, then a big portion of market served by purpose built hardware might just tick-tock away.   If you will pardon my mixing of Sci-Fi metaphors, Resistance is Futile!