Intel announces new Xeon Phi Knights Hill at SC14

Intel competes with NVIDIA for supercomputing market share with the new Xeon Phi Knights Landing and Knights Hill co-processors.

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Supercomputing 2014: Intel has announced a new Xeon Phi processor, code-named Knights Hill, at Supercomputing 2014. The Xeon Phi co-processors are the offspring of the Larabee project, and Intel has improved performance and inter-operability with each successive product generation. Knights Hill is a key advancement for Intel in the HPC (High-Performance Computing) market, and will leverage a 10nm process and integrate Intel's Omni-Path Fabric technology.

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The Knights product series competes directly with NVIDIA in the supercomputing market, and Knights Hill is a natural progression of the product line which will enhance performance scaling and bandwidth while simultaneously reducing power consumption.

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Knights Landing features the Intel Silvermont Architecture that is designed specifically for HPC applications. The architecture significantly boosts single thread performance by 3X in comparison to the Knights Corner product. The on-package memory tops out at 16GB and offers amazing bandwidth, over 5x more than DDR4. This stacked memory design also significantly reduces the power consumption of the memory subsystem by as much as 5X.

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The Intel Omni-Path Architecture provides up to 100Gbps line speed and a 56% lower switch fabric latency over InfiniBand deployments. The 48-port switch also provides more connectivity than InfiniBand, which is limited to 36 ports. Knights Landing is due in the 2nd half of 2015, and the new Knights Hill will likely be available in 2017.

The quest for benchmark world records led Paul further and further down the overclocking rabbit hole. SSDs and RAID controllers were a big part of that equation, allowing him to push performance to the bleeding edge. Finding the fastest and most extreme storage solutions led to experience with a myriad of high-end enterprise devices. Soon testing SSDs and Enterprise RAID controllers at the limits of their performance became Paul's real passion, one that is carried out through writing articles and reviews.

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