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Intel's Upcoming Sapphire Rapids Server Processors to Feature up to 56 Cores with HBM Memory

Intel has just launched its Ice Lake-SP lineup of Xeon Scalable processors, featuring the new Sunny Cove CPU core design. Built on the 10 nm node, these processors represent Intel's first 10 nm shipping product designed for enterprise. However, there is another 10 nm product going to be released for enterprise users. Intel is already preparing the Sapphire Rapids generation of Xeon processors and today we get to see more details about it. Thanks to the anonymous tip that VideoCardz received, we have a bit more details like core count, memory configurations, and connectivity options. And Sapphire Rapids is shaping up to be a very competitive platform. Do note that the slide is a bit older, however, it contains useful information.

The lineup will top at 56 cores with 112 threads, where this processor will carry a TDP of 350 Watts, notably higher than its predecessors. Perhaps one of the most interesting notes from the slide is the department of memory. The new platform will make a debut of DDR5 standard and bring higher capacities with higher speeds. Along with the new protocol, the chiplet design of Sapphire Rapids will bring HBM2E memory to CPUs, with up to 64 GBs of it per socket/processor. The PCIe 5.0 standard will also be present with 80 lanes, accompanying four Intel UPI 2.0 links. Intel is also supposed to extend the x86_64 configuration here with AMX/TMUL extensions for better INT8 and BFloat16 processing.

Intel 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable Launch Event Liveblog

Intel today is launching its 3rd Generation Xeon Scalable processor bringing its first major IPC uplift to the enterprise space in five years. The Xeon Scalable processors are built on the 10 nm SuperFin process, and the "Ice Lake-SP" microarchitecture that bring new "Sunny Cove" CPU cores to the server space, including support for PCI-Express 4.0 I/O capabilities, a wider memory interface, and a more feature-rich AVX-512 instruction-set, along with DLBoost for HPC. join us for its launch live-blog.

14:59 UTC: CEO Pat Gelsinger and Data Platforms group head Navin Shenoy are expected to take centerstage. Xeon and memory group head Lisa Spelman could announce relevant platform products. This is Gelsinger's first major launch since taking office.

15:01 UTC: What will you solve for?

Intel to Launch 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Portfolio on April 6

Intel today revealed that it will launch its 3rd Generation Xeon Scalable processor series at an online event titled "How Wonderful Gets Done 2021," on April 6, 2021. This will be one of the first major media events headed by Intel's new CEO, Pat Gelsinger. Besides the processor launch, Intel is expected to detail many of its advances in the enterprise space, particularly in the areas of 5G infrastructure rollout, edge computing, and AI/HPC. The 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable processors are based on the new 10 nm "Ice Lake-SP" silicon, heralding the company's first CPU core IPC gain in the server space since 2015. The processors also introduce new I/O capabilities, such as PCI-Express 4.0.

HPE Lists 40-Core Intel Ice Lake-SP Xeon Server Processor

Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the company focused on making enterprise hardware and software, has today mistakenly listed some of Intel's upcoming 3rd generation Xeon Scalable processors. Called Ice Lake-SP, the latest server processor generation is expected to launch sometime in the coming days, with a possible launch date being the March 23rd "Intel Unleashed" webcast. The next generation of processors will finally bring a new vector of technologies Intel needs in server space. That means the support for PCIe 4.0 protocol for higher speed I/O and octa-channel DDR4 memory controller for much greater bandwidth. The CPU lineup will for the first time use Intel's advanced 10 nm node called 10 nm SuperFin.

Today, in the leaked HPE listing, we get to see some of the Xeon models Intel plans to launch. Starting from 32-core models, all the way to 40-core models, all SKUs above 28 cores are supposed to use dual die configuration to achieve high core counts. The limit of a single die is 28 cores. HPE listed a few models, with the highest-end one being the Intel Xeon Platinum XCC 8380 processor. It features 40 cores with 80 threads and a running frequency of 2.3 GHz. If you are wondering about TDP, it looks like the 10 nm SuperFin process is giving good results, as the CPU is rated only for 270 Watts of power.

Intel Starts Production of "Ice Lake" Xeons, Ships 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S"

Intel in its FY 2020 + Q4 2020 earnings release revealed two important development milestones from its two core businesses. As part of its Q4 2020 business highlights disclosures, the company revealed that it has commenced mass-production of its next-generation Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake-SP" enterprise processors. These chips implement the "Ice Lake" microarchitecture, with "Sunny Cove" CPU cores that offer higher IPC over "Cascade Lake," and are built on the company's 10 nm silicon fabrication node. Our older article details the 10 nm "Ice Lake-SP" silicon, where each die offers up to 28 cores, and enables Intel to build processors with up to 56 cores using two such dies on multi-chip modules.

Next up, the company states that it has "started shipping" its 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S" desktop processors. "Shipping" in this context could even mean commencement of mass-production, and transfer of inventory down the supply chain, in the build up to a market availability date. At its digital keynote address on the sidelines of the 2021 International CES, Intel revealed many more details of "Rocket Lake-S," including its flagship Core i9-11900K 8-core processor, which it claims retakes the gaming performance lead that the company recently lost to AMD's Ryzen 5000 series. Multiple sources confirmed that these processors should be available only after mid-March, 2021.

Intel Ice Lake-SP Processor Spotted with 36 Cores and 3.6 GHz Base Clock

Today, in the latest GeekBench 5 submission by ASUS, we have discovered something rather interesting. Intel's Ice Lake-SP processors were rumored to arrive with up to 28 cores and 56 threads at maximum, on a single chip. That was due to the 10 nm process used to make these chips, with suspicions that the yield of the node was not good enough to make any higher core count parts. Thanks to the GB5 listing, discovered by Leakbench on Twitter, the Intel Ice Lake-SP CPU engineering sample appeared with an amazing 36 cores with 72 threads. This is supposedly Intel's efforts to try and match the 64 cores and 128 threads of AMD's EPYC "Rome" CPUs, which are winning many server applications due to their performance.

The 36C/72T chip was paired with another similar chip in a 2P dual-socket configuration, which made the total core count rise to 72 cores and 144 threads, running inside of Asustek's Y4R-A1-ASUS-G1 server. The system was reporting a clock frequency of 3.6 GHz base speed, which means that the possible boost clocks could be higher. The CPU features a 1.25 MB level two (L2) cache per core (45 MB in total) and 54 MB of unified level three (L3) cache. That makes this CPU core quite an improvement over the past Cooper Lake generation. We are waiting for more information about these CPUs, and we are going to report on it in the coming time.

Intel 10 nm Ice Lake-SP Server Processors Reportedly Delayed

Intel 10 nm products have seen massive delays over the years, and Intel has built many IPs on the new node, however, not many of them have seen the light of the day due to problems the company has experienced with the manufacturing of the new node. That has caused delays in product shipments in the past, meaning that the time for 10 nm is just ahead. According to the latest DigiTimes Taiwan report, we have information that Intel is going to delay its Ice Lake-SP server processors manufactured on a 10 nm node. And it is going to be a whole quarter late according to the report. Instead of launching in Q4 this year, we can expect to see new processors in Q1 of 2021. It is yet unknown whatever the launch will happen at the beginning of Q1 or its end, however, we will report on it as we hear more information.

Update: DigiTimes has also released another report regarding server shipments. It is reported that server vendors are decelerating the shipments as they are making fewer orders in Q4 to wait for the new Intel CPUs. Judging by this move, the demand for these new processors is going to be rather high and the supply chain is preparing slowly for it.

Intel Whitley Platform for Xeon "Ice Lake-SP" Processors Pictured

Here's is the first schematic of Intel's upcoming "Whitley" enterprise platform for the upcoming Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake-SP" processors, courtesy momomo_us. The platform sees the introduction of the new LGA4189 socket necessitated by Intel increasing the memory channels per socket to 8, compared to 6 of the current-gen "Cascade Lake-SP." The new platform also sees the introduction of PCI-Express gen 4.0 bus, with each socket putting out up to 64 PCI-Express gen 4.0 CPU-attached lanes. This are typically wired out as three x16 slots, two x8 slots, an x4 chipset bus, and a CPU-attached 10 GbE controller.

The processor supports up to 8 memory channels running at DDR4-3200 with ECC. The other key component of the platform is the Intel C621A PCH. The C621A talks to the "Ice Lake-SP" processor over a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 link, and appears to retain gen 3.0 fabric from the older generation C621. momomo_us also revealed that the 10 nm "Ice Lake-SP" processor could have TDP of up to 270 W.

Intel Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake-SP" 28-core Die Detailed at Hot Chips - 18% IPC Increase

Intel in the opening presentation of the Hot Chips 32 virtual conference detailed its next-generation Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake-SP" enterprise processor. Built on the company's 10 nm silicon fabrication process, "Ice Lake-SP" sees the first non-client and non-mobile deployment of the company's new "Sunny Cove" CPU core that introduces higher IPC than the "Skylake" core that's been powering Intel microarchitectures since 2015. While the "Sunny Cove" core itself is largely unchanged from its implementation in 10th Gen Core "Ice Lake-U" mobile processors, it conforms to the cache hierarchy and tile silicon topology of Intel's enterprise chips.

The "Ice Lake-SP" die Intel talked about in its Hot Chips 32 presentation had 28 cores. The "Sunny Cove" CPU core is configured with the same 48 KB L1D cache as its client-segment implementation, but a much larger 1280 KB (1.25 MB) dedicated L2 cache. The core also receives a second fused multiply/add (FMA-512) unit, which the client-segment implementation lacks. It also receives a handful new instruction sets exclusive to the enterprise segment, including AVX-512 VPMADD52, Vector-AES, Vector Carry-less Multiply, GFNI, SHA-NI, Vector POPCNT, Bit Shuffle, and Vector BMI. In one of the slides, Intel also detailed the performance uplifts from the new instructions compared to "Cascade Lake-SP".

Intel Ice Lake-SP Processors Get Benchmarked Against AMD EPYC Rome

Intel is preparing to launch its next-generation for server processors and the next in line is the Ice Lake-SP 10 nm CPU. Featuring a Golden Cove CPU and up to 28 cores, the CPU is set to bring big improvements over the past generation of server products called Cascade Lake. Today, thanks to the sharp eye of TUM_APISAK, we have a new benchmark of the Ice Lake-SP platform, which is compared to AMD's EPYC Rome offerings. In the latest GeekBench 4 score, appeared an engineering sample of unknown Ice Lake-SP model with 28 cores, 56 threads, a base frequency of 1.5 GHz, and a boost of 3.19 GHz.

This model was put in a dual-socket configuration that ends up at a total of 56 core and 112 threads, against a single 64 core AMD EPYC 7442 Rome CPU. The dual-socket Intel configuration scored 3424 points in the single-threaded test, where AMD configuration scored notably higher 4398 points. The lower score on Intel's part is possibly due to lower clocks, which should improve in the final product, as this is only an engineering sample. When it comes to the multi-threaded test, Intel configuration scored 38079 points, where the AMD EPYC system did worse and scored 35492 points. The reason for this higher result is unknown, however, it shows that Ice Lake-SP has some potential.

Intel 7nm CPUs Delayed by a Year, Alder Lake in 2H-2021, Other Commentary from Intel Management

Intel's silicon fabrication woes refuse to torment the company's product roadmaps, with the company disclosing in its Q2-2020 financial results release that the company's first CPUs built on the 7 nanometer silicon fabrication node are delayed by a year due to a further 6-month delay from prior expectations. The company will focus on getting its 10 nm node up to scale in the meantime.

The company mentioned that the 10 nm "Tiger Lake" mobile processor and "Ice Lake-SP" enterprise processor remains on-track for 2020. The company's 12th Generation Core "Alder Lake-S" desktop processors won't arrive before the second half of 2021. In the meantime, Intel will launch its 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake" processor on the 14 nm node, but with increased IPC from the new "Cypress Cove" CPU cores. Also in 2H-2021, the company will launch its "Sapphire Rapids" enterprise processors that come with next-gen connectivity and updated CPU cores.
Intel 7 nanometer delay

Intel Ice Lake Xeons Feature Slower Frequency Ramp Up

As we approach the launch of the Intel's Ice Lake-SP Xeon processors, which will be the company's first 10 nm product for servers, we find more details on the ways CPU operates and today's discovery is an interesting one. In the latest patch submitted to Linux kernel by Intel's engineers, we find out that Intel Ice Lake Xeons have a slower frequency ramp up, meaning that there could be some latency added. However, the engineers have patched this and it should perform as expected. The patch is described as the following: "On ICX platform, the CPU frequency will slowly ramp up when woken up from C-states deeper than/equals to C1E. Although this feature does save energy in many cases this might also cause unexpected result. For example, workload might get unstable performance due to the uncertainty of CPU frequency. Besides, the CPU frequency might not be locked to specific level when the CPU utilization is low."
Intel Ice Lake

No Intel "Rocket Lake-S" or "Ice Lake-X" This Year?

A roadmap slide from an Intel Partner Connect presentation suggests that the company's client-segment processor lineup will be unchanged for the rest of 2020, with the company briskly launching its 10th generation "Comet Lake-S" desktop processor lineup through May-June, and "Comet Lake-H" a month prior. The Core X "Cascade Lake-X" processor lineup will continue to lead the company in the high core-count HEDT segment, with no indications of new models, at least none higher than 18 cores.

More importantly, this slide dulls expectations of the company refreshing its desktop process segment just before Holiday 2020 with the 11th generation "Rocket Lake-S" silicon that has next-gen "Willow Cove" CPU cores, Gen12 Xe integrated graphics, and PCIe gen 4.0 connectivity, especially with engineering samples of the chips already hitting the radar. Intel is expected to launch 10 nm "Ice Lake-SP" Xeon enterprise processors in 2020, and there was hope for some of this IP to power Intel's next HEDT platform, the fabled "Ice Lake-X," especially with AMD's "Castle Peak" 3rd gen Threadrippers dominating this segment. While there's little doubt that the slide may have originated from Intel, its context must be studied. Partner Connect is a platform for Intel to interact with its channel partners (distributors, retailers, system integrators, etc), and information about future products is far more restricted on these slides, than presentations intended for large OEMs, motherboard manufacturers, etc. Then again, with the COVID-19 pandemic throwing supply chains off rails, it wouldn't surprise us if this slide spells Gospel.

Possible Intel "Ice Lake-SP" 24-core Xeon Processor Surfaces on Geekbench Database

Intel plans to update its Xeon Scalable server processor family this year with the new "Ice Lake-SP" microarchitecture. Built on the 10 nm+ silicon fabrication process, "Ice Lake-SP" is a high- thru extreme core-count monolithic silicon that features "Sunny Cove" CPU cores that introduce the first real IPC increases over "Skylake." A 24-core/48-thread processor likely based on this silicon surfaced on the Geekbench database, where it posted some impressive numbers given its low clock speeds.

The processor comes with an identification string "GenuineIntel Family 6 Model 106 Stepping 4," with a nominal clock speed of 2.20 GHz, and boost frequency of 2.90 GHz, which points to the possibility of this being an engineering sample. Besides clock speeds and core counts, some basic hardware specs were detected by Geekbench 4. For starters, the processor has an L1D cache size of 48 KB and L1I cache size of 32 KB, which is similar to the client-segment "Ice Lake-U" silicon based Core i7-1065G7, and confirms that this processor uses "Sunny Cove" cores. "Cascade Lake" and "Skylake" cores use 32 KB L1D caches. Also, the dedicated L2 cache per core is 1.25 MB, up from the 1 MB L2 caches on "Cascade Lake." Client-segment "Ice Lake" chips use 512 KB L2 caches. The shared L3 cache is 36 MB (or 1.5 MB slice per core), which loosely aligns with the cache balance of Intel's server and HEDT processors. In this bench run, the processor is backed by 256 GB of memory, of an unknown type or configuration. In the three bench runs, the setup scores roughly 4100 points single-core, and roughly 42000 points multi-core.

Intel Reassures Investors of its Server Processor Roadmap: Ice Lake-SP in 2020, Sapphire Rapids in 2021

Intel's Investor Relations head Trey Campbell, in a "fire-side chat" with top investors at the Cowen Virtual Technology Media and Telecom Conference, reaffirmed Intel's commitment to its server processor roadmap. Intel is on course to introducing its 10 nm Xeon "Ice Lake-SP" enterprise processor family by the end of 2020, and "Sapphire Rapids" sometime within 2021.

"Ice Lake-SP" processor will introduce the new "Whitley" platform, with a new 4,189-pin LGA socket, which leverages PCI-Express gen 4.0. While retaining the DDR4 memory standard, the memory interface has been broadened to 8-channel, and reference memory clock speeds are expected to be increased to DDR4-3200. The company's "Sapphire Rapids" processor is expected to shake up the market, as it introduces next-generation I/O, when it launches alongside the "Eagle Stream" platform in 2021. The processor will be built on the refined 10 nm+ silicon fabrication node, feature "Willow Cove" CPU cores, and I/O feature set that sees the introduction of DDR5 memory standard, and PCI-Express gen 5.0.
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