At this year's Computex show in Taiwan, Intel announced that it will be adding new chips to its Xeon E3 1500 line of server processors to help service providers handle the massive amounts of online video-related traffic created by the 'visual cloud'.
Webcasts, video-conferencing, digital TV broadcasts, cloud gaming, video transcoding and even the delivery of remote workstations all make up what the company and other chipmakers have begun to refer to as the visual cloud. The new chips that Intel has added to its Xeon E3-1500 line have been created with extra capabilities that aid in accelerating video and multimedia workloads. These new server chips have been optimised for video delivery and are based on the company's Skylake technology, which made its debut last year on consumer platforms.
128MB of embedded DRAM has been added to the new Xeon E3-1500 chips which is double the 64MB that the previous generation contained. Intel has also decided to upgrade the graphics capabilities of the chips by including Iris Pro graphics P580. This gives them 50 per cent more execution units and the graphics also have the ability to utilise the DRAM embedded on the chips with the CPU cores which allows them to act as an extra level of cache.
Intel Quick Sync Video provides the latest Xeon E3-1500 chips with hardware-enhanced High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and the ability to accomplish HEVC transcoding in real-time, which the company says is a first for its processors.
The new chips will be divided into two groups, with one being optimised for performance and the other optimised for reliability. The Xeon chips designed with reliability in mind are intended for service providers who will likely deploy them long-term and they will last for up to seven years.
All of the chips in Intel's new Xeon E3-1500 will be quad-core and the E3 1585 v5 will have a maximum clock speed of 3.5 GHz while the E3-1585L v5 will be clocked at 3 GHz.
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