Recently, Supercomputer vendor Cray’s (NASDAQ:CRAY) ended its long lasting partnership with Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) and decided to switch over to Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)’s Xeon processors.
Shares of Cray’s (NASDAQ:CRAY) rose on Friday after its announcement of partnership with Intel.
Cray’s (NASDAQ:CRAY) will be using Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)’s Xeon processors in its latest Cascade XC30 cluster (supercomputers). Initially Xeon processor “Sandy Bridge” will power XC 30 cluster and in next year the socket-compatible “Ivy Bridge” followed by more powerful Xeon-Phi co-processors.
The Xeon is a brand of multiprocessing / multi-socket-capablex86 microprocessors designed by Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). The Xeon are normally used in huge servers like communication, security, data storage and carrier’s servers and industrial automation and control equipment.
So how Xeon differ from normal CPU processors like i7 and why we don’t use them in normal computers? The answer is simple.
Although presently i7 processor used in desktop is based on same architecture as the Xeon CPUs but the main differences are:-
-Xeons is the cream of the crop.
-Xeons are also usually updated much before than normal processors like i7.
-More costly than normal processors.
-Runs at relatively low voltages and cooler with less heat generation.
-Normally runs 24/7 without any degrade in performance.
-used in multi socket motherboards where as i7 aren’t.
– if Xeon are used instead of normal processors ,relative motherboard and hardware must be used to match up with extreme clocking speed, thus further adding to the cost
-Xeon is able to work in multi-CPU based systems, whereas absolutely no i7 models available does
The first ever Xeon processor was Pentium II Xeon (code-named “Drake”). It was released in 1998 with L2 cache of 512 KB. Pentium II Xeon was replaced by Pentium III Xeon (“Tanner”) In 1999. In mid-2001 Pentium name was dropped from Xeon processors and they were simply called Xeon. Initial variant “Foster”, was launched which was different from Pentium IV followed by Prestonia and “Gallatin”, which had an L3 cache of 2 MB and Max CPU clocking at 1500MHz to 3200MHz.
The upgrades continued with introduction of newest versions of Xeon processors with more speeds and upgraded caches. The last ones Sandy Bridge (Second Generation) followed by Ivy Bridge (Third Generation) which is based on tri-gate (3D) transistors were finally launched.
Ivy Bridge provides 20 percent faster performance than Sandy Bridge. Its advance 3D transistors will consume 50 percent less energy as compared to 2D transistors. Ivy Bridge supports updated version of PCI Express i-e PCI Express 3.0 (Third version of PCI), RAM of upto 2800MT/s, 4K video (4K is latest technology where 4K means 4000 pixels)
The latest in the Xeon series is Haswell (Fourth Generation) and Intel demonstrated the Haswell architecture back in September 2011.Intel Plans to release it in 2013 as the successor to Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge.
In third quarter Cray’s (NASDAQ:CRAY) had a net loss of $5.2 million, or 14 cents per share as compared to loss of $12.2 million, or 35 cents per share during the same period last year. Revenue fell by 3 % from $36.7 million to $35.7 million.
Cray’s said that it expects rise in revenues in 2013. It is also planning to acquire Appro for $25 million.
Intel CPU core road maps is Shown below