Enterprise

Google Cloud helped design Intel’s newest data center chip

Mount Evans is Intel's first IPU data center chip, and Google Cloud, which played a role in its development, will be the first customer.

Pat Gelsinger,

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has a new data center chip.

Photo: Pau Barrena/Bloomberg

When Intel announced that it had turned to technology developed by longtime rival Arm for a new infrastructure processing unit called Mount Evans, it said the technology was co-developed by a cloud-service provider that it wouldn't name: until now.

Google Cloud is that design partner, and it has committed to deploying the technology inside its cloud data centers, Intel plans to announce Wednesday at its Innovation event.

Mount Evans is a chip unlike many of Intel's other designs — instead of running cloud computing apps itself, it helps the cloud providers run data centers more efficiently. Intel's IPU is more than a network controller, which routes traffic, Nick McKeown, Intel's vice president of communications and networking, told Protocol. Mount Evans figures out where the information belongs inside a data center.

"As traffic and data comes in from the networks, its job is to figure out where does it go to next," McKeown said. "It's a new class of devices; they're really kind of a central coordinating function steering traffic between various devices. For us at Intel, we think that for future data centers, these will be very prominent."

Mount Evans is Intel's first ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) built under the company's IPU business, and it will support up to four Xeon processors that are running apps. Intel didn't say much more about the deal, or the development collaboration, except that it will also release a developer kit to simplify access to the tech in Google's data centers.

Intel rival Nvidia produces a similar chip it calls the data processing unit, or DPU. The explosive demand for cloud computing power has pushed companies to develop technology to help optimize apps with specialized computing requirements, such as machine learning.

Intel's IPU chips perform similar functions as Nvidia's DPUs, helping to offload some of the work performed by central processors onto other chips. Moving workloads onto specialized traffic controllers also helps cloud providers manage their systems more efficiently.

Separately Wednesday, Intel plans to introduce a new line of processors based on its Intel 7 process technology. The 12th-generation series will include 60 processors that will power designs running from high-performance desktops to thin and light laptops. The company said it was shipping about half of the new processors to PC makers, and it will launch the first six desktop chips Wednesday.

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Photo: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

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Veronica Irwin

Veronica Irwin (@vronirwin) is a San Francisco-based reporter at Protocol covering fintech. Previously she was at the San Francisco Examiner, covering tech from a hyper-local angle. Before that, her byline was featured in SF Weekly, The Nation, Techworker, Ms. Magazine and The Frisc.

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The Financial Technology Association (FTA) represents industry leaders shaping the future of finance. We champion the power of technology-centered financial services and advocate for the modernization of financial regulation to support inclusion and responsible innovation.
Enterprise

AWS CEO: The cloud isn’t just about technology

As AWS preps for its annual re:Invent conference, Adam Selipsky talks product strategy, support for hybrid environments, and the value of the cloud in uncertain economic times.

Photo: Noah Berger/Getty Images for Amazon Web Services

AWS is gearing up for re:Invent, its annual cloud computing conference where announcements this year are expected to focus on its end-to-end data strategy and delivering new industry-specific services.

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Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison (@dgoodison) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

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We launched Protocol in February 2020 to cover the evolving power center of tech. It is with deep sadness that just under three years later, we are winding down the publication.

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Enterprise

Why large enterprises struggle to find suitable platforms for MLops

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, and as larger enterprises go from deploying hundreds of models to thousands and even millions of models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

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Photo: artpartner-images via Getty Images

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