Designed for today's rapidly evolving business technology world, Intel's new Xeon Scalable processors represent the "biggest data center advancement in a decade," the company said this week.

The Xeon Scalable chips (pictured above) launched Tuesday are aimed at data centers and network service providers supporting a wide range of cutting-edge digital services and cloud-based applications, from 5G communications to artificial intelligence. Intel said the processors offer a platform for faster, higher-performing and far more efficient digital services.

Available now, the Xeon Scalable processors have already been deployed and tested through the company's largest data center early ship program to date, according to Intel. Customers, including AT&T and Google, are using more than a half million of the chips, and are reporting significant workload improvements, the company said.

'Empowering High-Performance Computing'

Developing the new platform took "years of mind-bending work by thousands of brilliant people around the world," Lisa Spelman, vice president and general manager of Intel Xeon products and marketing, wrote Tuesday in a company editorial. She said that the chips were developed through extensive collaboration with other data center-focused companies and developers to "fully unleash the platform's performance."

Built with Intel's new Skylake core microarchitecture, the Xeon Scalable processors offer up to 28 cores and 6 terabytes of system memory, with an overall performance increase that's 1.65 times better than the previous chip generation, the company said.

These and other features enable the new platform to support improvements across a variety of IT- and data-intensive tasks, with more than twice the deep-learning training and inference capabilities, the ability to operate 4.2 times as many virtual machines, and five times as much input/output operations per second.

"Our world needs safer forms of transportation, new treatments for cancer, more efficient energy sources, smarter cities, more intelligent security systems, and much more," Trish Damkroger, vice president of Intel's data center group, wrote on the company's IT Peer Network. "To solve these problems -- these very big problems -- we need to unleash the potential of the HPC [high-performance computing] community."

That's the story behind the new Intel Xeon Scalable platform -- to empower the HPC community to rethink the impossible and make the world a better place, she said.

Select Solutions for Faster Deployment

Intel's launch of the Xeon Scalable platform "puts an exclamation point on how it's targeting workloads for enterprises, carriers, HPC, cloud and AI workloads," according to Patrick Moorhead, founder, president, and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

"The new Xeons represent growth and opportunity for Intel, and the company is doing it doing it by more finely targeting workloads and addressing it by offering a full platform of CPUs, chipsets, SSD storage, accelerators and software stacks, then tying a ribbon around it with the new Select Solutions," Moorhead wrote this week in a commentary in Forbes. "I see growth potential in spaces it hasn't historically achieved high degrees of market share while defending their CPU turf at the same time."

Also announced Tuesday, Intel's Select Solutions offers a variety of optimized hardware/software configurations for the data center and network communications provider markets. Featuring technology such as Canonical Ubuntu, Microsoft SQL 16 and VMware vSAN 6.6, Select Solutions "can reduce IT's evaluation and testing burden, accelerate time to deployment, and increase confidence they will enjoy reliable solution performance," Spelman said.