Intel may have launched Cascade Lake relatively recently, but another refresh of the 14-nm server is already on the horizon. Intel has lifted the veil on Cooper Lake today, giving new details on how the processor integrates into its product line with the 10-nm Ice Lake server chips supposed to be queuing for the deployment in 2020.
Cooper Lake features include support for Google's bfloat16 format. It will also support up to 56 processor cores in a snap-in format, unlike Cascade Lake-AP, which can scale up to 56 cores but only in a welded BGA configuration. The new take would be known as LGA4189. There is reports that these chips could offer up to 16 channels of memory (since Cascade Lake-AP and Cooper Lake use multiple chips on the same chip, Intel could run up to 16 channels of memory per socket with version double chip).
Bfloat16 support is a major addition to Intel's artificial intelligence efforts. While 16-bit semi-precision floating point numbers have been defined in the IEEE 754 standard for over 30 years, bfloat16 changes the balance between the format used for significant digits and that used for exponents. The original IEEE 754 standard is designed to give priority to precision, with only five bits of exponent. The new format allows a much larger range of values but with less precision. This is particularly useful for artificial intelligence and deep learning calculations, and is a major step on Intel's path to improving the performance of artificial intelligence and deep processor learning computations. Intel has released a White Book on bfloat16 if you are looking for more information on the subject. Google says that using bfloat16 instead of the conventional semi-precision floating point can generate significant performance benefits. The society written"Some operations are related to the memory bandwidth, which means that the memory bandwidth determines the time spent in such operations. Storing the inputs and outputs of memory bandwidth-related operations in bfloat16 format reduces the amount of data to be transferred, improving the speed of operations. "
The other benefit of Cooper Lake is that the CPU would share a socket with the upcoming Ice Lake servers in 2020. A theoretically important distinction between the two families is that Ice Lake servers at 10 nm can not support bfloat16, while 14nm Cooper Lake servers will. This could be the result of increased differentiation of Intel's product lines, although it is also possible that this reflects the difficult development of 10 nm.
The introduction of 56 cores as a base indicates that Intel expects Cooper Lake to expand to more customers than the Cascade Lake / Cascade Lake-AP target number. It also raises questions about the type of Ice Lake servers that Intel is going to market and the possibility of seeing 56-core versions of these chips as well. To date, all of Intel's 10-nm Ice Lake messaging has focused on servers or mobile devices. This may reflect the strategy used by Intel for Broadwell, where desktop versions of the processor were scarce, and where server and server components dominated this family – but Intel says later the fact of not publishing Broadwell desktop was a mistake and that the company had gaffed by skipping the market. Does this mean that Intel keeps launching an Ice Lake desktop or if the company has decided to no longer use its desktop computer? made understand that this time is not yet clear.
Cooper Lake's attention to AI treatment means that it is not necessarily meant to go with AMD's next 7 nm Epyc. AMD has not talked much about AI or machine learning on its processors and, although its 7nm chips add support for 256-bit AVX2 operations, the company's CPU division does not tell us has not yet hinted that a particular goal is the AI market. AMD's efforts in this area are still based on a graphics processor and, although its processors will certainly work with AI code, it does not seem that the market is at the same level as that of Intel. Between the addition of a new support for AI to existing Xeons, its products Movidius and Nervana, projects like Loihiand plans the data center market with Xe, Intel is trying to build a market to protect its high-performance computing and high-end server operations, and to address Nvidia's current dominance of the industry.