F-Xeons: Intel puts an end to Omni-Path

Intel has made a Product Change Notification (PDF) sent eight server processors into retirement: The Xeon-F were special models with on-package fabric, more specifically the OPA-100. This is the abbreviation for Omni-Path Architecture with 100 Gbps, an interconnect for CPUs and accelerators. Besides the Xeon F, Omni-Path was also supported by the Xeon Phi, but they were also set End of Life (EoL) several months ago.

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Specifically, Intel is introducing the Xeon Gold 5117F, the Xeon Gold 6126F, the Xeon Gold 6130F, the Xeon Gold 6138F, the Xeon Gold 6142F, the Xeon Gold 6148F, the Xeon Platinum 8160F, and the Xeon Platinum 8176F. These models are so-called Skylake SP, so in 2017 introduced server CPUs. Partners can order the Xeon-F until April 2020, then in October 2020 the last processors will be delivered.

OPA-100 should actually get a successor with OPA-200, however, Intel already has confirmed in August 2019that the 200 Gb / s version has been deleted from the roadmap. As a result, partners with the current Cascade Lake AP / SP Xeons must rely on Infiniband. There are 200 Gbps, and 400 Gbps are already in the works and available as a prototype. Infiniband is being developed by Mellanox and the company has been acquired by Nvidia for $ 7 billion.

In addition to Omni-Path, Intel has also developed connections via Silicon Photonics, an optical connection. The 100 GB / s version is already delivered, in the spring of 2019, the manufacturer demonstrated on the Interconnect Day the 400 GBit / s successor. When this should be available and when an integration in CPUs, Intel did not answer at that time.