Last year, Intel started offering custom chip designs to Facebook and eBay and now it has managed to get Oracle signed up.
The difference with the Oracle deal is that Chipzilla is making custom processors to sell to customers.
According to DatacenterDynamics Oracle wanted a processor whose performance profiles could be changed on demand based on workload.
Intel built Oracle’s E7-8890 v2 on the Xeon E7-8895 v2 processor but gave it the ability to put its cores into ultra-low power states and then bring them back up as needed.
The 8890 v2 model is the top of the Xeon line, the only one with RAS capabilities and other high-end functions found in the Itanium and other RISC processors.
The 8890 has 15 cores running at 2.8 GHz and 37.5 MB of cache per core for high performance analytics or in-memory databases.
With the 8895, Intel allowed the processor to act like an 8890, 8891 or 8893 while in operation and without having to shut down and restart.
The technology was already there. Intel already does something similar with its consumer Core processors called Turbo Boost. If a dual core, 3.0GHz processor is running a single-threaded app, it will shut down one core and run the other at 3.4Ghz, for example.
The 8895 is used in Oracle’s Exadata Database Machine X4-8,an 8-processor rack system with up to 12 TB of system memory 672 terabytes of disk, 44 terabytes of high-performance PCI Flash, 240 database CPU cores, and 168 CPU cores in storage to accelerate data-intensive SQL.
There are limits to the deal. Intel will not be open to chip suggestions from Oracle’s hardware competitors like HP and Dell. The Oracle deal was oriented around its database and other business application software.