Supermicro takes the plunge into Cascade Lake, clutching X11 lines, screaming 'AI'

Give me sockets, give me DIMMs, give me Optane, give me all the speed

Server slinger Supermicro has dropped the veil on its range of second generation Xeon SP servers with Optane DIMM support – just as Chipzilla itself reveals all the gory details on its latest chippery.

The SP stands for Scalable Processors, Gen 2 Xeon SPs being the new term for what had been previously referred to by Intel as Cascade Lake, with up to 28-core SP variants and 24-core AP dual socket systems.

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Supermicro is upgrading its X11 server and storage product lines to take these new processors and their so-called Deep Learning Boost facility for AI acceleration.

The lines that will embrace Intel's new 14nm-process Xeon SP family will include Supermicro's 1 and 2U Ultra, 2U 4-node BigTwin, 4U Fat Twin and SuperBlade 2- and 4-socket servers.

Charles Liang, Supermicro CEO, said: "Our designs take full advantage of 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processors' new features such as 10 per cent faster DIMMs, 1.5 times more memory capacity, faster CPU frequency up to 3.8GHz, and Intel Optane DC persistent memory.

"Furthermore, our all-flash NVMe 1U storage servers support all of the next-generation flash technologies including NF1 and EDSFF (NF1 is a Samsung-inspired NGSFF ruler form factor for flash. EDSFF is a second ruler form factor) form factor SSDs to deliver the highest storage bandwidth, best IOPS performance, NVMe over Fabrics support and ease of maintenance."

Supermicro's 1U and 2U Ultra servers now support:

  • Dual Gen 2 Xeon Scalable Processors (up to 28 cores, 205W TDP per CPU).
  • 24 DIMMs of DDR4-2933MHz registered Error Correction Code memory.
  • Intel Optane DC persistent memory.
  • Up to 24 hot-swap NVMe (up to 16 million IOPS), or SAS3 or SATA3 drives'
  • Up to eight PCI-E 3.0 expansion slots.
  • Dual or quad-port 1G, 10GBase-T, 10G SFP+, or 25G SFP28 Ethernet.
  • Redundant 750W/1000W/1600W Titanium Level (96 per cent +) digital power supplies.
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Supermicro has 4-socket and 8-socket multi-processor systems that can use Optane DC Persistent Memory (3D XPoint DIMMs). A four-socket system can have a quartet of Gen 2 Xeon® SPs, with up to 112 cores and up to 18TB of memory, understood to be 12TB of Optane and 6TB of DDR4 DRAM.

The San Jose server maker also has a new line of petascale NVMe all-flash storage systems, which feature up to 1PB of NAND storage with 32 front hot-swap U.2, EDSFF and NF1 form factor SSDs. They support next-generation flash technologies with up to 52GB/sec data bandwidth out of the box and NVMe over Fabrics access.

Ruler format SSD capacities were not specified. The company said it has AI-optimised servers that are 1U to 10U in size, sporting between one and 20 GPUs. ®

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