Intel takes NFV to the edge with new Xeon D-1500 SoC family

Chip giant introduces Xeon processor D-1500 product family to drive edge intelligence in the telco network.

Intel has announced a new family of Xeon chips designed for dense, microserver small form factors, to support a predicted increase in requirement for edge cloud computing in telco networks.

The vendor made the announcement on a webcast presented by Sandra Rivera, vice president, Data Center Group and general manager, Network Platforms Group, Intel, and to which it had also invited operator partner Verizon, and vendor partner Cisco.

The new SoCs are the Xeon processor D-1500 product family. Intel announced two Xeon-D chips in March this year, with this announcement adding 8 new SoCs to the family. The chips currently have up to eight cores, with 12 and 16 core version planned for 2016. The D-1500 chips would give 3-6 times the performance of the Atom based SoCs, Rivera said, and “enable NFV in edge devices”.

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Hang Nguyen, Senior Principal Engineer, Intel, introducing the product said, “It’s a XEON processor that is big in performance but not necessarily in terms of size. We have taken our Xeon processor and integrated 2x10Gig Ethernet Controllers, and put it in a single package that can deliver very low power. As such it is a perfect device for form factor-constrained applications such as edge routers, switches, firewalls and also IoT devices.”

These devices will support same technology that enables the virtualisation of compute in the cloud. We are now bringing the same technology and enabling NFV usages in edge devices.”

She added: “Because these are Xeon SoCs they come with Xeon goodness like performance, features and reliability. Furthermore, these devices will support Intel hardware assisted virtualisation technology, the same technology that enables the virtualisation of compute in the cloud. We are now bringing the same technology and enabling NFV usages in edge devices.”

On brand, getting the edge message

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Rivera was standing in front of a background that read, “Intel Inside: Cloud Ready Networks Outside”, overlaid on a picture of a cell tower. The inference was pretty obvious, the company is looking to move its products into servers that sit much closer to the edge of the networks, extending out to the base station itself: and of course the company is one of the leading lights in the Mobile Edge Computing initiative that proposes just such a model.

Extra: Here’s a video from Intel showing the use cases it sees for the new D-1500 range.

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