Way back in June 2014, Intel announced its intent to develop a Xeon with x86 cores and an integrated FPGA to accelerate certain processing tasks. That FPGA-accelerated future may arrive early next year, according to a report from PC World.
Diane Bryant, senior VP of Intel's datacenter group, announced the impending release of these FPGA-equipped Xeons during an on-stage interview at Structure Conference in San Francisco last week. PC World says Bryant told the attendees that "we’ll be shipping it to the largest cloud service providers in Q1 so they can begin tuning their algorithms."
Bryant didn't elaborate on the CPU beyond saying that its "footprint" would be compatible with existing Xeons. We do know that the onboard gate array is designed by Altera, which Intel acquired in June for $16.7 billion. Intel claims that moving FPGAs onto the same package as the processor can double the performance gains from FPGA acceleration, according to another PCWorld report.