Intel unveils new server chips aimed at keeping its lead

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(Bloomberg) --Intel Corp. the largest maker of computer processors, announced a new range of server chips aimed at maintaining its dominance over one of the most profitable segments of the semiconductor industry.

The company is introducing 90 different versions of the Xeon processor aiming to expand the type of work its most lucrative model can handle. At the top end, the Xeon Platinum 9200 will have 56 processing cores. Intel is hosting an event in San Francisco Tuesday to show off the new technology.

The largest U.S. chipmaker is trying to reassure customers -- particularly big spenders such as Inc., Google and Microsoft Corp. -- that its products can continue to deliver performance gains and are better suited to their evolving needs.

New designs are important at a time when Intel is struggling to improve manufacturing, after decades of industry leadership. Rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has new chips that are beginning to grab sales, and large data center owners are experimenting with designing their own chips.

The new Xeon processors have built-in elements that help with artificial intelligence work, Intel said. They’ll also have links to a new type of memory Intel invented, called Optane. That storage technology is designed to improve the flow of information for processors to work on, a crucial element to speeding up computer performance, Intel has said.

If Intel can sell server chips for new computing tasks, such as networking, that may support growth. The company has only scratched the surface of these new markets, Navin Shenoy, head of Intel’s server chip division, has said. Revenue from this business jumped more than 20 percent to $23 billion last year.

Bloomberg News