Cooper Lake will deliver a 60% increase in AI inferencing and training performance

During a press conference at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, Intel gave an update its efforts with respect to its AI and machine learning. The details were a bit hard to come by, but it gave a glimpse at the performance that can be expected from its future Xeon Scalable processor family, codename Cooper Lake.

Cooper Lake, which will be available in the first half of 2020, will deliver up to a 60% increase in both AI inferencing and training performance. That’s compared with the 30 times improvement in deep learning inferencing performance Intel achieved in 2019 from 2017, the year Intel released its first processor with AVX-512 (512-bit extensions to the 256-bit Advanced Vector Extensions SIMD instructions for x86 instruction set architecture).

Delivering this in part is DL Boost, which encompasses a number of x86 technologies designed to accelerate AI  vision, speech, language, generative, and recommendation workloads, which supports the bfloat16 (Brain Floating Point) computer number format on Cooper Lake products. (Bfloat16 was  originally by Google and implemented in its third generation Tensor Processing Unit, a custom-designed AI accelerator chip.)

By way of refresher, Cooper Lake features up to 56 processor cores per socket, or twice the processor core count of Intel’s second-gen Scalable Xeon chips. They’ll also have higher memory bandwidth, higher AI inference, and training performance at a lower power envelope, and they’ll have platform compatibility with the upcoming 10-nanometer Ice Lake processor.

Intel products are used for more data center runs on AI than on any other platform, Intel claims.

The future of Intel is AI. Its books imply as much — the Santa Clara company’s AI chip segments notched $3.5 billion in revenue this year, and it expects the market opportunity to grow 30% annually from $2.5 billion in 2017 to $10 billion by 2022. Putting this into perspective, AI chip revenues were up from $1 billion a year in 2017.

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