Momentum around 5G network transformation and the intelligent edge, in part, is fueling Intel’s ascent to the world’s #1 network silicon provider, but this didn’t happen overnight. Over the last 15 years we have steadily invested in the expansion of a network silicon portfolio from core to edge. We have partnered with communications service providers (CommSPs) and industry leaders since the inception of network functions virtualization (NFV) to drive a foundation of virtual networks based on Intel® Xeon® processors. We have built incredible momentum around network transformation, starting at the core, and now we’re extending Intel architecture to the edge and RAN with an unmatched silicon portfolio for 5G network infrastructure.
All of these waves are building to a perfect opportunity in 2020. We’re expanding our 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor family to provide increased value for customers across their cloud, network and edge needs, releasing new Intel Atom® P5900 processors, the industry’s first Intel architecture System-on-a-Chip (SoC) for wireless base stations, and fueling other ecosystem innovations, including market-leading 1.3 Tbps performance in mobile core network. Let’s take a deeper dive into these highlights to prepare for the next wave of opportunities.
Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors: The Leading Data-Centric Platform
We are introducing the new 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors with more cores, cache and frequency to deliver industry-leading frequency and improved customer value. These new offerings are perfect for customers seeking processors for workloads across cloud, network and edge and deliver up to 36 percent more performance and 42 percent more performance-per-dollar vs. previous gen.
The 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor family features unique platform capability including integrated AI acceleration, Intel Optane™ persistent memory, hardware enhanced security and network optimizations. 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors offer scalability and performance for all network workloads and are particularly well-suited for wireless workloads including 5G User Plane Function, Virtual Broadband Network Gateway, Content Delivery Networks, and security workloads including L3Fwd and IPSec. “N-SKU” processors are specifically tuned for virtualized network functions, delivering up to 58 percent more performance versus prior gen.
We’re also updating our verified, workload-optimized Intel Select Solutions with the latest 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors to deliver even greater performance and efficiency for a variety of popular applications. Particular to networking, the Intel Select Solutions for NFVI Forwarding Platform, NFVI, uCPE, and Visual Cloud Delivery Network are being updated to take advantage of the latest processor advancements while continuing to accelerate system selection and deployment. Over 50 solution partners offer pre-verified Intel Select Solution configurations for various types of solutions.
To date, the 2nd generation Intel Xeon Scalable platform was the fastest ramping Xeon in history, selling more than 30 million units. The top telecommunications equipment manufacturers alone have deployed over 2.8 million units. As cloud, 5G, AI and intelligent edge converge, we are extending the multi-decade heritage of the Intel Xeon Scalable processor family as the leading data platform foundation to support any workload, anywhere.
Intel Atom® Processors: Silicon Leadership in Radio Access Network
We have also been collaborating with 5G leaders to design the world’s first standard, high-volume silicon for radio access networks, and today we’re announcing the 10nm Intel Atom P5900 processor. It is designed from the ground up for 5G wireless base stations and brings Intel architecture to this market for the first time. Our customers have responded, and we expect Nokia, along with other leading providers, to deliver solutions based on the platform. We’re also excited to report that Intel now expects to be the #1 silicon provider in base stations by 2021, a year earlier than first predicted.
Intel Atom P5900 was designed for 5G’s high-bandwidth and low-latency by combining compute, 100Gbps connectivity and acceleration into a single SoC. It delivers a performance punch with 5.6X packet security throughput and up to 3.7X more packet balancing throughput vs. using software alone. Plus, with Intel architecture consistent from core to edge, customers can realize software re-use throughout the network reducing their time-to-market and investments in research and development.
Ground-Breaking Mobile Core Performance
An unmatched portfolio is foundational, but a deep ecosystem is required to innovate and deliver compelling solutions at the core and at the edge. With our ecosystem partners, the industry will collectively virtualize 50 percent of this year’s core network deployments and expect to reach 80 percent by 2024. We saw early cloud-native deployments in the mobile core in 2019, and we will see the rollout of the first 5G standalone core networks this year. In order to accelerate 5G core network transformation we must continually improve compute density for packet processing in order to meet the expected increase and variety of network traffic.
Intel and our partners Supermicro and ASTRI recently achieved ground-breaking 1.3 Tbps user plane function (UPF) throughput of 5G enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) live traffic in a dense deployment of rack space. This performance milestone was a significant increase from the 200 Gbps throughput we demonstrated last year in 2U. This massive traffic volume is achieved using Intel Xeon Gold 6230N processors and NICs in a compact 4U configuration. By utilizing containers and orchestration with Kubernetes, the Intel NFVI platform will be able to cater for the expected demand growth in network traffic well into the next 10 years.
And we’re not stopping there. ZTE is another ecosystem partner that has delivered a commercial, high-performance 5G core network UPF solution to the market based on the 2nd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor and Intel Speed Select Technology. We are eager to see how this jump in mobile core performance and density will enable our customers to develop new and exciting services around 5G.
Delivering New Services with Fiber-Rich, Edge Data Centers
A key area of the network that is also ripe for transformation is the next-generation central office (NGCO). Intel continues to work with CommSPs and other ecosystem partners to establish fiber-rich, edge datacenters that can support both fixed and mobile traffic for broadband, enterprise and mobile customers and enable widespread deployment of hosted, edge services.
Last year we partnered with Red Hat, KGP, Radisys and others to support the launch of our first NGCO solution delivered by Quanta with commercial NFVi and VNFs for fixed-mobile convergence, edge enterprise services (vCPE) and telemetry deployment. This year, our ecosystem is delivering more commercial NGCO solutions including netElastic and WWT.
Sustaining Network Innovation
As waves of technology delivering ongoing improvements roll out to support the future of 5G, new types of digital services will exponentially grow both the supply and demand for data. Network and cloud infrastructures must rise to the challenge. We will continue to solve the challenges of tomorrow across the network, creating new business opportunities for our customers.
While we stake a leadership claim in network transformation, we are proud to share this moment and further innovate with our partners.
Notices and Disclaimers
Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark and MobileMark, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more information go to www.intel.com/benchmarks.
Performance results are based on testing as of date disclosed in the system configuration and may not reflect all publicly available security updates. See configuration disclosure for details. No product or component can be absolutely secure.
Intel technologies’ features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. Check with your system manufacturer or retailer or learn more at www.intel.com.
Results have been estimated or simulated using internal Intel analysis or architecture simulation or modeling and provided to you for informational purposes. Any differences in your system hardware, software or configuration may affect your actual performance.
Optimization Notice: Intel's compilers may or may not optimize to the same degree for non-Intel microprocessors for optimizations that are not unique to Intel microprocessors. These optimizations include SSE2, SSE3, and SSSE3 instruction sets and other optimizations. Intel does not guarantee the availability, functionality, or effectiveness of any optimization on microprocessors not manufactured by Intel. Microprocessor-dependent optimizations in this product are intended for use with Intel microprocessors. Certain optimizations not specific to Intel microarchitecture are reserved for Intel microprocessors. Please refer to the applicable product User and Reference Guides for more information regarding the specific instruction sets covered by this notice. Notice Revision #20110804.
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© 2020 Intel Corporation.
 36% more performance & 42% more performance/dollar: Geomean of Integer Throughput, Floating Point Throughput, Stream Triad, and Linpack across ten new 2-socket 2nd Gen Gold processors vs first generation. 2nd Gen Gold R processors: 1-node, 2x 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Gold cpu on Intel Reference platform with 384 GB (12 slots / 32 GB / 2933) total memory, ucode 0x500002c, HT on for all except off for Stream, Linpack, Turbo on, with Ubuntu19.10, 5.3.0-24-generic, 6258R/$3950: int=323, fp=262, stream=224, Linpack=3305, 6248R/$2700: int=299, fp=248, stream=224, Linpack=3010, 6246R/$3286: int=238, fp=217, stream=225, Linpack=2394, 6242R/$2529: int=265, fp=231, stream=227, Linpack=2698, 6240R/$2200: int=268, fp=228, stream=223, Linpack=2438, 6238R/$2612: int=287, fp=240, stream=222, Linpack=2545, 6230R/$1894: int=266, fp=227, stream=222, Linpack=2219, 6226R/$1300: int=208, fp=192, stream=200, Linpack=2073, 5220R/$1555: int=257, fp=220, stream=210, Linpack=1610, 5218R/$1273: int=210, fp=188, stream=199, Linpack=1290 test by Intel on 12/25/2019. First Gen Gold processor: 1-node, 2x Intel Xeon Gold cpu on Intel Reference platform with 384 GB (12 slots / 32 GB / 2933) total memory, ucode 0x2000065, HT on for all except off for Stream, Linpack, Turbo on, with Ubuntu19.10, 5.3.0-24-generic, 6152/$3655: int=224, fp=198, stream=200, Linpack=19886148/$3072: int=225, fp=198, stream=197, Linpack=2162, 6146/$3286: int=161, fp=175, stream=185, Linpack=1896, 6142/$2946: int=193, fp=176, stream=185, Linpack=1895, 6140/$2445: int=202, fp=183, stream=188, Linpack=1877, 6138/$2612: int=189, fp=195, stream=189, Linpack=1976, 6130/$1894: int=172, fp=165, stream=185, Linpack=1645, 6126/$1776: int=141, fp=157, stream=170, Linpack=1605, 5120/$1555: int=133, fp=148, stream=159, Linpack=924, 5118/$1273: int=134, fp=132, stream=149, Linpack=818 test by Intel on 2/18/2020.
 Virtualized Network Function (OVS DPDK): Tested by Intel on 1/21/2019 1-Node, 2x Intel® Xeon® Gold 6130 Processor on Neon City platform with 12x 16GB DDR4 2666MHz (384GB total memory), Storage: 1x Intel® 240GB SSD, Network: 4x Intel XXV710-DA2, Bios: PLYXCRB1.86B.0568.D10.1901032132, ucode: 0x200004d (HT= ON, Turbo= OFF), OS: Ubuntu* 18.04 with kernel: 4.15.0-42-generic, Benchmark: Open Virtual Switch (on 4C/4P/8T 64B Mpacket/s), Workload version: OVS 2.10.1, DPDK-17.11.4, Compiler: gcc7.3.0, Other software: QEMU-2.12.1, VPP v18.10, Results: 9.6. Tested by Intel on 1/18/2019 1-Node, 2x Intel® Xeon® Gold 6230N Processor on Neon City platform with 12x 16GB DDR4 2999MHz (384GB total memory), Storage: 1x Intel® 240GB SSD, Network: 6x Intel XXV710-DA2, Bios: PLYXCRB1.86B.0568.D10.1901032132, ucode: 0x4000019 (HT= ON, Turbo= OFF), OS: Ubuntu* 18.04 with kernel: 4.20.0-042000rc6-generic, Benchmark: Open Virtual Switch (on 6P/6C/12T 64B Mpacket/s), Workload version: OVS 2.10.1, DPDK-17.11.4, Compiler: gcc7.3.0, Other software: QEMU-2.12.1, VPP v18.10, Results: 15.2. Tested by Intel on 1/18/2019 1-Node, 2x Intel® Xeon® Gold 6230N Processor with SST-BF enabled on Neon City platform with 12x 16GB DDR4 2999MHz (384GB total memory), Storage: 1x Intel® 240GB SSD, Network: 6x Intel XXV710-DA2, Bios: PLYXCRB1.86B.0568.D10.1901032132, ucode: 0x4000019 (HT= ON, Turbo= ON (SST-BF)), OS: Ubuntu* 18.04 with kernel: 4.20.0-042000rc6-generic, Benchmark: Open Virtual Switch (on 6P/6C/12T 64B Mpacket/s), Workload version: OVS 2.10.1, DPDK-17.11.4, Compiler: gcc7.3.0, Other software: QEMU-2.12.1, VPP v18.10, Results: 16.9
 Source: Intel
 Tested by Intel on 1/27/2020, 1x Intel Atom® P5952B processor (Running under A-3 Eng Silicon 20C, 2.2GHz) on Intel internal Frost Creek platform, 16GB DDR4 2933MHz, OS: Ubuntu 18.04 with Kernel: 5.2.10-rt5, BIOS: JBVLCRB1.86B.0011.D44.1909191126, uCode: 0x90010006, Benchmark: DPDK IPSec (using Intel® QAT) (1420B packet size) (1C/1T/1P) (Estimated), Software: DPDK 19.05, Compiler: GCC 7.3.0 with MKL, Network: Onboard 100GbE NIC compared to 1x Intel Atom® P5952B processor (Running under A-3 Eng Silicon 20C, 2.2GHz) on Intel internal Frost Creek platform, 16GB DDR4 2933MHz, OS: Ubuntu 18.04 with Kernel: 5.2.10-rt5, BIOS: JBVLCRB1.86B.0011.D44.1909191126, uCode: 0x90010006, Benchmark: DPDK IPSec (using software cipher algorithm AES-128-CBC) (1420B packet size) (1C/1T/1P) (Estimated), Software: DPDK 19.05, Compiler: GCC 7.3.0 with MKL, Network: Onboard 100GbE NIC.
 Tested by Intel on 1/27/2020, 1x Intel Atom® P5952B processor (Running under A-3 Eng Silicon 20C, 2.2GHz) on Intel internal Victoria Canyon platform, 16GB DDR4 2933MHz ,OS: Ubuntu 18.04 with Kernel: 5.2.10-rt5, BIOS: JBVLCRB1.86B.0012.D17.1911070324, uCode: 0x90040006, Benchmark: DPDK Event Device Ordered Scheduling (3 stages) (Estimated), Software: RDK19.11, Compiler: GCC 7.3.0 with MKL, Network: 1x Intel® Ethernet Network Adapter X710-DA4 (10GbE) compared to 1x Intel Atom® P5952B processor (Running under A-3 Eng Silicon 20C, 2.2GHz) on Intel internal Victoria Canyon platform, 16GB DDR4 2933MHz, OS: Ubuntu 18.04 with Kernel: 5.2.10-rt5, BIOS: JBVLCRB1.86B.0012.D17.1911070324, uCode: 0x90040006, Benchmark: DPDK Event Device Ordered Scheduling (3 stages) (Estimated), Software: RDK19.11, Compiler: GCC 7.3.0 with MKL, Network: 1x Intel® Ethernet Network Adapter X710-DA4 (10GbE).
 Dell’Oro Mobile Core Network 5 Year Forecast Report, Dell’Oro Group, 01/2020