Intel Xeon Phi HPC Hardware Now Available To Developers
Xeon Phi, codenamed Knights Landing, was announced three years ago by Intel, and now, the company has started to provide developers their new hardware, well obviously for a price.
Currently, there are two versions of Xeon Phi Knights Landing. First one is liquid cooled system with dual gigabit Ethernet ports, six DIMM slots, the Developer Edition of Xeon Phi Knights Landing with 72 CPU cores, AVX 512 and 16 GB of MCDRAM. The other is a higher-end 2U rack with four hot-swappable nodes.
Prices of these two versions of Knights Landing are $5000 and $20,000, respectively. These prices are no doubt very extremely high by consumer standards. But $5000 version of the system might not be a bad choice at all if you work in the field and need to keep going to places and want to be able to use high performance computing.
Xeon Phi is the third X86 manycore architecture. It is based on heavily modified Airmont 14nm atom core. Intel has not shared all the details about the modifications but they do have shared the points that differentiate Knights landing from previous gen Knights Corner which used a modified Intel Pentium Core.
Xeon Phi have 36 tiles, each of which contains two CPU cores and each CPU core contains two VPUs. It is designed to boot itself and can control the operating system just like the on board processor.
Knights Landing is a straight forward evolution of Knights Corner which is meant to keep up with pascal and help Intel to keep the competitive edge in the high-performance computing (HPC) market.
Knight Landing has a release date close to Nvidia`s Pascal which means there will be a tight competition between the two but it seems that Intel has already got a head start as it is providing its latest technology to the developers before launching it for the consumers.