Data Center News Roundup: Emerald Rapids Launch, Big Tech's Clean Energy Bid

In this week's top data center news stories, Intel introduces its latest Xeon chipset and tech giants partner with energy firms to clean up the grid.

James Walker

December 15, 2023

6 Min Read
Data Center News Roundup: Top Data Center News
pichetw / Alamy Stock Photo

With data center news moving faster than ever, we want to make it easy for industry professionals to cut through the noise and find the most important stories of the week.

The Data Center Knowledge News Roundup brings you the latest news and developments across the data center industry – from investments and mergers to security threats and industry trends.

To keep up to date with all things data centers, subscribe to the Data Center Knowledge newsletter to get content straight to your inbox.

Xeon 5th Gen Launch 

Intel this week launched Emerald Rapids, its 5th Generation Xeon CPU, which features up to 64 cores and 40% better performance than its predecessor. The processor packs a raft of additional improvements that Intel says will help service the growing compute demands of AI. 

The latest iteration of Intel’s high-end CPUs for enterprise servers was welcomed by industry experts. The launch follows a bumpy period for the company that was marred by execution challenges, including notable delays in the release of both 3rd and 4th-generation Xeon chipsets. 

Click Here for Intel Xeon 5th Gen Launch in Pictures

“The 5th Gen Xeon is a great step forward for Intel, demonstrating their newfound ability to stick to schedule and product roadmaps,” Cambrian AI Research analyst Karl Freund told Data Center Knowledge. “The chip has more cores, a lot more cache, and is a good upgrade for clients who still have a lot of older Xeon infrastructure.” 

Related:The World's Most Unusual and Unique Data Centers

The launch follows last week’s rollout from AMD of the Instinct MI300X, a new powerful data center GPU that the company hopes will grab market share from Nvidia in the lucrative AI chip market. 

Going Green 

Google and Microsoft joined forces with energy companies to start trading hourly credits for zero-carbon electricity next year, a critical move in their pursuit to eventually power their data centers without greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels. 

The tech giants, along with Constellation Energy and AES Corporation, are helping to develop a platform to trade so-called granular certificates – zero-carbon energy credits for specific locations at specific times – as futures contracts on the Intercontinental Exchange, according to LevelTen Energy, the energy transactions platform developer leading the initiative that’s dubbed the Granular Certificate Trading Alliance. 

The news comes as Meta announced that its Mesa data center in Arizona will soon be supported by new solar energy from Salt River Project through a contract with clean energy provider Ørsted

Related:Server Rooms vs. Data Centers: Advantages and Disadvantages

Under the contract, Meta will receive the majority portion of the solar energy generated by Ørsted's Eleven Mile Solar Center, a 300 MW solar farm and 300 MW, four-hour battery energy storage system currently under construction in Pinal County, Arizona. 

Elsewhere in sustainability news this week, Light Reading’s Robert Clark takes a closer look at the challenges faced by subsea data centers

“The most obvious problem is connectivity,” he said. “If you're going to deploy these edge centers in numbers, then that is a fiber cable project with a lot of cost and complexity.” 

New Data Center Facilities 

In data center build and construction news, Cologix is bolstering its presence in Canada through the acquisition of two Cyxtera facilities in Vancouver and Montréal, as well as the expansion of Cologix data centers in Montréal and Toronto. 

The company now has a Canadian portfolio of 22 data centers with a total of 1,057,000 square feet and 94MW of power. 

In the US, county supervisors in northern Virginia have approved one of the world’s largest data center projects. According to the Associated Press, the Digital Gateway Project would usher in the development of up to 37 data centers across 2,000 acres in Prince William County. 

DC Blox has acquired 72 acres of land in Conyers, Georgia for a new hyperscale-ready data center campus.  

The campus is designed at full build-out to accommodate 750,000 square feet of space with 216 MW of total power committed by Georgia Power

Vantage Data Centers is building a 16 MW data center in Taipei, which marks the company's entry into the robust Taiwanese data center market. 

Set to open in mid-2024, the new 20,000-square-meter facility brings the company to its eighth campus in the Asia-Pacific as it continues to expand its footprint in the region. 

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission has announced the opening of a “cutting-edge data center” at NED University in Karachi. 

The center represents a groundbreaking initiative to digitally empower universities and fortify their IT infrastructure, writes Business Recorder

In Europe, Microsoft is understood to have identified south Wales as a key location as it looks to roll out its next-generation AI data centers in the UK. 

According to Wales Online, new data center developments totaling around $2.8 billion will be delivered over the next three years.  

Cloud Funding 

The European Commission has confirmed it will provide up to €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) in funding to support the research, development, and deployment of advanced cloud and edge computing technologies across multiple providers in Europe. 

The project – called IPCEI Next Generation Cloud Infrastructure and Services (IPCEI CIS) – was jointly notified by seven Member States: France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain. 

It will spearhead the development of the first interoperable and openly accessible European data processing ecosystem, the multi-provider cloud-to-edge continuum. 

“The participating companies will develop open source software that will allow for real-time and low-latency services by distributed computing resources close to the user, thereby reducing the need to transmit large volumes of data to centralized cloud servers,” the Commission said. 

Other Great Reads on DCK This Week 

Startup Raises $55m for Portable Starlink-Dedicated Data Centers. Galleon data centers would be the size of shipping containers and feasible for use on oil rigs and other off-grid sites. 

Nvidia Partners with Malaysian Utility To Build AI Data Center. YTL Power shares surged following the announcement that it would partner with Nvidia on a $4.3 billion data center. 

EU Reaches Deal on Landmark AI Bill, Racing Ahead of US. The agreement cements the bloc's role as the de facto global tech regulator, as governments scramble to address the risks created by rapid advances in AI systems. 

5 Key Takeaways from AI Summit NY 2023. Here are the highlights from the 2023 AI Summit, which saw record crowds and standing-room-only sessions. 

What is an IPU (Infrastructure Processing Unit) and How Does it Work? IPUs (Infrastructure Processing Units) are hardware accelerators designed to offload compute-intensive infrastructure tasks like packet processing, traffic shaping, and virtual switching from CPUs. 

About the Author(s)

James Walker

James Walker is the Senior Editor of Data Center Knowledge. He has more than 16 years of experience writing for business and technology publications, with a focus on translating technical issues to make them more accessible and engaging.

Before joining DCK, James was editor of The Daily Swig, an award-winning cybersecurity news website, and his work has been featured in The Times and BBC Online, among other publications. His first full-length book, HIT: Once Upon a Field, was published in 2023.

Subscribe to the Data Center Knowledge Newsletter
Get analysis and expert insight on the latest in data center business and technology delivered to your inbox daily.

You May Also Like