Intel expands its server CPU portfolio
As we have seen in the earlier part of the series, Intel is pursuing the data center and IoT (Internet of Things) spaces aggressively. Its recent acquisition of Altera, which finalized on June 1, 2015, highlights the company’s strategy.
To further strengthen its foothold in this space, Intel (INTC) launched the Xeon E3-1200 V4 lineup at Computex 2015, which was held in June 2015 in Taipei.
The new Xeon E3-1200 V4 series is based on the Broadwell microarchitecture. Moreover, it is also the first generation Xeon E3 series to be based on the 14nm process. Intel claims that the Xeon E3 series offers a hybrid compute platform that combines Xeon CPUs with Intel’s Iris Pro Graphics P6300 GPUs, which enables it to provide strong data center capabilities.
Xeon E3-1200 V4 series is aimed at graphic-intensive workloads
Intel’s Xeon E3-1200 v4 consists of quad-core chips with three graphics cores and clock speeds from 2 GHz up to 3.5 GHz. It has up to 32 GB of DDR3 or DDR3L memory across two memory channels. Xeon E3 series provides a hybrid compute platform that combines Xeon CPUs with Intel’s Iris Pro Graphics P6300 GPUs. The above presentation shows the features of Intel’s Xeon E3-1200 V4 series.
Intel claims that Xeon E3-1200 V4 series comes with up to 1.4 times and 1.8 times more performance for video transcoding and graphics performance or workloads, respectively. Thus, it appears that Intel aims to position Xeon E3-1200 as an offering that is targeted at applications like CAD, online video streaming, and engineering workloads. Thus the Xeon E3-1200 V4 is ideal if a server chip for graphic intensive workloads like video transcoding is necessary.
According to a Wall Street Journal and Nielsen study, video traffic is set to witness an explosion. Netflix and Google YouTube collectively controlled 43% of video traffic. According to a Sandvine report, Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG) YouTube held 36.5% and 15.6% of downstream Internet traffic in North America as of March 2015. Netflix and Google are followed by HTTP and Apple’s iTunes, which commanded a 6% and 3.4% share, respectively.
If you’re bullish about Intel, you can invest in the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) and the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK) to gain exposure to Intel. Intel makes up about 19.4% and 3.55% of SMH and XLK, respectively.