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Intel Boosts Edge Productivity with Processor Innovations

intelligent edge

The Internet of Things has advanced to the point that businesses across all kinds of sectors are realizing its value and looking to reap the benefits. But due to its wide-ranging use cases across industries, optimizing performance, cost, and efficiency has meant intelligent edge and network infrastructure needed to be developed and implemented from the ground up.

Thankfully, there are new and innovative edge-to-cloud platforms reaching the market that are designed to help unify IoT, such as the latest 4th Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, 13th Gen Intel® Core processors, and Intel Atom® processors x7000E Series—all of which release in first quarter of 2023. These latest releases are designed to incorporate the power, efficiency, security, connectivity, AI abilities, and other features needed to successfully deploy edge solutions, while delivering step-change improvements over previous generations.

4th Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors Adapt to Workload Consolidation Demands

Originally code-named “Sapphire Rapids,” the 4th Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors are some of the most versatile products available to IoT hardware engineers, AI software developers, and systems architects today. With up to 52 cores, and long-term availability, IoT variants of these processors deliver a 1.33x performance increase compared to their predecessor.

In addition, the latest release features AI inferencing improvements, such as a 3.01x performance increase for image classification and 4.25x increase for object detection, thanks to a built-in AI acceleration engine called Intel® Advanced Matrix Extensions (Intel®AMX). Part of the Intel® Deep Learning Boost (Intel® DL Boost) suite of technologies, AMX is a hardware block designed specifically for matrix multiplication tasks common in AI training and inferencing.

Intel partners are already taking advantage of these new features. For example, leading medical-technology company Siemens Healthineers leverages AMX with the OpenVINO toolkit to improve the accuracy of oncology-radiation imaging diagnostics.

The 4th Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors are some of the most versatile products available to #IoT hardware engineers, #AI software #developers, and systems architects today. @Inteliot via @insightdottech

Of course, one of the primary performance bottlenecks for AI workloads is memory. To ensure IoT developers can maximize the performance of features like AMX, the latest 4th Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors support DDR5 memory, up to 50% more bandwidth vs DDR4. Intel® Resource Director Technology (Intel® RDT) directs traffic coming in from external memory devices, accelerators, and other peripherals to on-chip processing resources so these data flows remain streamlined, while Intel® Scalable I/O Virtualization (Intel® SIOV) enables efficient resource sharing across many virtual machines in workload-consolidation use cases.

All of this is protected by integrated security features—such as Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX), Intel® Total Memory Encryption (Intel® TME), and Intel® Platform Firmware Resilience (Intel® PFR)—that keep the chipsets and their data safe in connected environments.

Closer to Edge with Intel® 13th Generation Core

But as you get closer to industrial IoT controllers and actuators, more tactical solutions may be in order.

For PCs and gateway-class systems, 13th Gen Intel® Core processors (code-named “Raptor Lake”) take a page from the hybrid 12th Gen Intel® Core processors’ microarchitecture. The 13th Gen Intel® Core processors package up to 24 Performance and Efficient cores and 32 threads flanked by Intel® UHD Graphics 770 engine, while the 13th Gen Intel® Core Mobile processors feature up to 14 cores, 20 threads, and Intel® Iris® Xᵉ graphics, media, and display engine.

The 13th Gen Intel® Core processors also go a step further than their predecessor by delivering 1.04x faster single-thread and 1.34x faster multithread gains in a similar 35W to 65W power envelope, while the mobile processors deliver 1.08x faster singe-thread performance and 1.05x faster multithread performance.

Like the new 4th Gen Intel® Xeon® processors, the 13th Gen Intel® Core processors make use of Intel® DL Boost technology, add PCIe 5.0 connectivity, and include DDR5 RAM support to keep data flowing across edge environments. Resources are provisioned across the chip using Intel® Thread Director.

You can find all these capabilities put to work in the real-time, zero-defect manufacturing system of machine-vision solutions company Eigen Innovations, which helps automation companies not only monitor and predict the maintenance needs of process control equipment but also deploy more cameras per processor.

An additional breakthrough for IoT engineers comes with new features like real-time capable 2.5GbE interfaces and Intel® Time Coordinated Computing (Intel® TCC) CPU features that allow devices to delivery deterministic performance in areas like machine control.

Intel Atom® x7000E Processors Power IoT Efficiency

Even closer to (and, in some cases, in) IoT endpoints, Intel® Core processors and Intel Atom® processors x7000E Series (code-named “Alder Lake-N”) have adopted Efficient cores with new instructions for better performance at low-power envelope. Integrating the same Efficient cores as the 12th Gen Intel® Core processors per device, the Alder Lake-N portfolio improves performance across the board, with 1.30x faster single-thread and 1.09x faster multithread performance, 1.68x faster graphics, and 6.85x faster AI inference performance.

With the help of up to 32 Intel® UHD Graphics execution units, that’s enough performance to drive three independent 4K60 displays. Or, thanks to Intel® DL Boost technology and support from Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (Intel® AVX2), IoT designers can execute deep-learning inference workloads at the edge.

Both 13th Gen Intel® Core processors and Intel Atom® processors x7000E Series support a wide variety of operating systems; work with the Intel® oneAPI Toolkit and the OpenVINO toolkit; and include embedded SKUs and long-term support options. 13th Gen Intel® Core Mobile processors also include select SKUs that support industrial use conditions.

All of this helps lead the next big phase of edge productivity. In the past, foundational solutions were required to reach the performance, efficiency, connectivity, security, and ease of use of edge native applications. To be effective, those solutions couldn’t be adapted from existing ones.

With the introduction of 4th Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, 13th Gen Intel® Core processors, and Intel Atom® processors x7000E Series, it’s now possible.

To see these processors in action, look for them on display throughout the year from Intel and its ecosystem partners at upcoming tradeshows like CES, Mobile World Congress, embedded world, Hannover Messe, and others—and be sure to check back at insight.tech for the latest launch updates.

 

This article was edited by Christina Cardoza, Associate Editorial Director for insight.tech.

About the Author

Brandon brings more than a decade of high-tech journalism and media experience to his current role as Editor-in-Chief of the electronics engineering publication Embedded Computing Design. His coverage focuses on artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Internet of Things, cybersecurity, embedded processors, edge computing, prototyping kits, and safety-critical systems, but extends to any topic of interest to the electronic design community. Brandon leads interactive YouTube communities around platforms like the Embedded Toolbox video interview series and Dev Kit Weekly hardware reviews, and co-hosts the Embedded Insiders Podcast. Drop him a line at brandon.lewis@opensysmedia.com or DM him on Twitter @techielew.

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