Intel makes new chip more than double the power of others

In a bid to reduce data center power consumption, Intel has unveiled its new "Sierra Forest" chip with over double the power efficiency of other chips.
Christopher McFadden
"Sierra Forest" packs more bang for your buck.


Intel has reported that its new chip, "Sierra Forest," will have over double the efficiency for the same power consumption of other microchips. Designed as a new data center chip, Intel's new double-efficiency chip is scheduled for release sometime in 2024, Reuters report. This forms part of the industry's push to lower electrical consumption and make them more economical and environmentally friendly.

Double efficiency; same power

Unveiled during a semiconductor technology conference at Stanford University in Silicon Valley, Intel revealed that its upcoming "Sierra Forest" chip will provide 240% better performance per watt than its current generation of data center chips. This could prove a game-changer as data centers that power the internet and online services use significant amounts of electricity, and technology firms are under increasing pressure to reduce energy consumption.

Maintaining servers in data centers requires a significant amount of energy. In fact, according to C and C Technology Group, they consume approximately 1,000 kWh per square meter, which is ten times more than the average American household. Server racks are the primary equipment used in data centers, and they consume a considerable amount of energy to function and keep their components cool. Additionally, the cooling systems in data centers are inefficient and use up to 70% of the total energy consumed in a data center.

Servers and cooling systems are the primary energy consumers in data centers, requiring ongoing maintenance to ensure optimal performance. Additionally, outdated servers and network communication tools contribute significantly to energy consumption. Chip manufacturers are, therefore, focusing on ways to maximize computing work per chip, and Intel has stepped up to the plate.

A startup called Ampere Computing, established by former Intel executives, introduced a chip designed to handle cloud computing tasks effectively. Intel and its competitor Advanced Micro Devices have since announced comparable products. AMD's version became available in June this year.

On Monday, Intel announced that its "Sierra Forest" chip is scheduled to be released next year. The company is dividing its data center chips into two groups for the first time: a high-performance "Granite Rapids" chip that uses more power and a more energy-efficient "Sierra Forest" chip. This move comes after losing market share to competitors AMD and Ampere in the data center industry.

Better future data centers

Ronak Singhal, a senior fellow at Intel, said customers can consolidate older software onto fewer computers in a data center. "I may have things that are four or five, six years old. I can get power savings by moving something that's currently on five, 10 or 15 different servers into a single" new chip, Singhal said. "That density drives their total cost of ownership. The higher the density, the fewer systems they need," he added.

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