Intel’s Xeon chips normally reside in distant server rooms or brawny workstations. But that’s not ideal for the modern internet, where connected cars, VPNs, streaming video and another tech frequently needs computing power somewhere in between. That’s where its newly launched Xeon D-2100 processor might come into play. The system-on-a-chip is designed to bring the performance of a Xeon to the “edge” of a network, where that extra speed might be more effective. It includes up to 18 cores and the requisite hooks for four 10Gbps Ethernet ports but uses ‘just’ 60W to 110W of power. In other words: you could tuck some of these into a local office without the demands that normally come with server chips.
The company hasn’t divulged pricing, although it’s safe to assume you won’t be buying one for home use. And in case you’re wondering: yes, there will be software updates to make sure they aren’t vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre security flaws.
Ideally, these CPUs would eliminate bottlenecks that you sometimes see when cloud services depend on very remote servers. Your car might not be stuck waiting for traffic data, and you might have an easier time watching that hot new streaming TV show at the same time as everyone else. All told, you should spend more time actually using cloud services and less time twiddling your thumbs.