Intel has announced the launch of new enterprise-centric processors and solid-state drives (SSDs), including a 22-core 44-thread Broadwell-EP Xeon chip.

Intel's latest Broadwell-EP Xeon family is headlined by the Xeon E5-2699 V4, a monster of a processor which packs 22 individual processor cores running at 2.2GHz, 55MB of cache, and support for 384GB of DDR4 system memory in a 145W thermal design profile (TDP). The inclusion of HyperThreading support doubles the thread count, meaning the new Xeon can cope with running 44 simultaneous threads - and you can expect to see dual-processor and potentially even quad-processor boards appearing from the company's usual hardware vendors to bump up the system thread count still further.

The new Xeon E5-2600 V4 range is joined by a fresh range of solid-state drives which Intel claims has been 'optimised for the Intel Xeon processor E5-600 V4 family.' Whether that's strictly speaking true or not, the new SSD DC P3320 and P3520 drives are the first to make use of Intel's latest-generation 3D NAND hardware and the results are impressive: with the DC P3320's dual-port PCI Express Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) interface, the company claims a five-fold performance boost compared with rival SATA- and SAS-based enterprise storage devices.

Intel's target market for these high-performance - and, naturally, high-priced - parts is the cloud industry, in particular those working with software-defined infrastructure (SDI). 'Enterprises want to benefit from the efficiency and agility of cloud architecture and on their own terms - using the public cloud offerings, deploying their own private cloud, or both,' explained Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Centre Group, at the launch. 'The result is pent-up demand for software-defined infrastructure. Intel is investing to mature SDI solutions and provide a faster path for businesses of all sizes to reap the benefits of the cloud.'

Intel has confirmed pricing of the Xeon E5-2699 V4 at $4,115 (around £2,896 excluding taxes), with pricing for the SSD models yet to be announced.
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