Intel is relaunching the Xeon E-2200 line, which it first introduced in May for workstations, as a low-end server processor for simpler tasks. The new chips are socket-compatible with the older E-2100 line so existing servers can be upgraded.

Intel makes no bones about it, the Xeon E-2200 processors are for entry-level servers, coming in 4-core and 6-core designs as well as a new 8-core product capable of hitting 5.0 GHz with Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology 2.0.

The Xeon E-2288G and E-2278G CPUs are the new high-end models with eight cores and 16 threads, a boost over the six-core count of the E-2100. The E-2200 is meant for single-socket systems with a maximum memory capacity of 128GB.

That may seem puny compared to the Xeon Scalable processors with 28 cores and 1.5TB of memory capacity but the markets are different. The Xeon Scalable also doesn’t hit 5.0Ghz in burst mode. This is a chip for small departmentlevel servers at a much lower cost sitting in a closet or under a desk. The lowest end processor is just $193 while the eight-core chips top out at $539. Compare that to more than $10,000 for a Xeon Scalable.

A notable feature of the E-2200 is hardware-enhanced security using Intel’s Secure Guard Extensions (SGX), which features hardware-level encryption, such as real-time memory encryption into what Intel calls enclaves. This is designed to prevent the contents of the enclave from being sniffed or otherwise spied upon.

If this sounds familiar, that’s because AMD has something similar called AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV), which offers full real-time encryption of virtual machines to isolate guests and VMs from each other. SGX does something similar, and with the new eight-core processors, the capacity of these encrypted areas has doubled over the previous 2100 line. 

Intel is also contributing the Intel SGX Software Development Kit to the Confidential Computing Consortium project in the Linux Foundation to support a broad industry push to address this latest frontier for data confidentiality in the cloud.

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