Intel creates custom silicon that works with Oracle software

Intel (S INTC) said on Thursday that it has created a customized version of its Xeon E7 x2 processor that is tailored to work with Oracle (S ORCL) software. The new chip will supposedly allow for better performing Oracle applications that can handle more tasks than they could previously handle.
Essentially, Oracle’s new Exadata Database Machine X4-8, used for data warehousing and resource-heavy tasks like online transaction processing (OLTP) and in-memory workloads, is powered by the new Intel customizable silicon. Using the new processor, the Oracle machines can now be controlled via software to make changes on the fly to better allocate resources when necessary.
The news highlights two recent developments by both Oracle and Intel in recent months. Last month at Structure, Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s data center group, explained how Intel developed a customizable chip that links together a Xeon processor and a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). Using the FPGA in conjunction with the processor supposedly results in a much more efficient chip that can be used for complex tasks like translating search algorithms and compressing genetic data, Bryant said.
Last month also saw Oracle announcing its In Memory Option software to be used as an add-on to the company’s database lineup for enhanced real-time analytics and transactional workloads.
Today’s announcement shows the advent of more specialized chips needed for more specialized workloads. With Intel wanting to ensure that its chip making skills are still a big business while not losing workloads to OEMS or Arm (or even the cloud), it’s betting there’s money to be had in customizing chips for specific types of jobs.