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Intel 4th Gen Xeon Sapphire Rapids-SP CPUs To Feature Up To 56 Cores on 10nm Enhanced SuperFin Process & 350W TDP

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Details regarding Intel's 4th Gen Xeon family codenamed Sapphire Rapids-SP have leaked out a day after the launch of the 3rd Gen Xeon family. The Sapphire Rapids-SP family will be replacing the Ice Lake-SP family and will go all on board with the 10nm Enhanced SuperFin process node that will be making its formal debut later this year in the Alder Lake consumer family.

Intel Sapphire Rapids-SP 4th Gen Xeon CPUs Detailed - 10nm Enhanced SuperFin Process Node, Up To 56 Cores & 350W TDP

Update: Videocardz has leaked a Xeon comparison chart, coming directly from Intel, which more or less confirms this information and also along with these, a few other tidbits such as the instruction sets and specific I/O capabilities of the Sapphire Rapids-SP family.

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Intel Sapphire Rapids-SP Xeon Server CPU Specifications. (Image Credits: Videocardz)

In an SKU chart posted by Momomo_US, three Intel Sapphire Rapids-SP Xeon CPUs are disclosed. All three SKUs are engineering samples and come with various core configurations. From what we know so far, Intel's Sapphire Rapids-SP lineup is expected to utilize the Golden Cove architecture & will be based on the 10nm Enhanced SuperFin process node.

The Sapphire Rapids lineup will make use of 8 channel DDR5 memory with speeds of up to 4800 MHz and support PCIe Gen 5.0 on the Eagle Stream platform. The Eagle Stream platform will also introduce the LGA 4677 socket which will be replacing the LGA 4189 socket for Intel's upcoming Cedar Island & Whitley platform which would house Cooper Lake-SP and Ice Lake-SP processors, respectively. The Intel Sapphire Rapids-SP Xeon CPUs will also come with CXL 1.1 interconnect that will mark a huge milestone for the blue team in the server segment.

Coming to the configurations, the top part is started to feature 56 cores with a TDP of 350W. What is interesting about this configuration is that it is listed as a low-bin split variant which means that it will be using a tile or MCM design. The Sapphire Rapids-SP Xeon CPU will be composed of a 4-tile layout with each tile featuring 14 cores each. The other two parts that have been mentioned use a monolithic design. A 24 core part with 225W TDP (Lowest Volume) and a 44 core part with 270W TDP (High Volume + Speed Select) are listed too.

It looks like AMD will still hold the upper hand in the number of cores & threads offered per CPU with their Genoa chips pushing for up to 96 cores whereas Intel Xeon chips would max out at 56 cores if they don't plan on making SKUs with a higher number of tiles.

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The Intel Saphhire Rapids CPUs will contain 4 HBM2 stacks with a maximum memory of 64 GB (16GB each). The total bandwidth from these stacks will be 1 TB/s. According to leaked details from AdoredTV, HBM2 and GDDR5 will be able to work together in flat, caching/2LM, and hybrid modes. The presence of memory so near to the die would do absolute wonders for certain workloads that require huge data sets and will basically act as an L4 cache.

The platform would be competing against AMD's Zen 4 based EPYC Genoa lineup which would also be moving to a newer platform known as SP5. AMD has promised new memory along with new capabilities for the Genoa lineup which would include support for 8-Channel DDR5, up to 80 PCIe 5.0 lanes, and more. The platform itself would be scalable up to 8 sockets which means that we can see core counts of up to 448 and up to 996 threads on a single server (using 56 core chips).

Currently, AMD's EPYC CPUs demolish Intel in terms of performance per watt, a number of cores/threads, feature set, and total cost of operation with major players in the server segment switching their cloud datacenters to AMD's EPYC CPUs. It remains to be seen if Intel can make a complete or even a partial recovery of its Xeon segment with Sapphire Rapids. For now, Intel is focusing on a launch for its Sapphire Rapids Xeon Scalable family in 2022 but a volume ramp is not expected until early 2022.

Which server lineup do you think will offer the best feature set for enterprise markets?

Intel Xeon SP Families:

Family BrandingSkylake-SPCascade Lake-SP/APCooper Lake-SPIce Lake-SPSapphire RapidsEmerald RapidsGranite RapidsDiamond Rapids
Process Node14nm+14nm++14nm++10nm+10nm Enhanced SuperFin?10nm Enhanced SuperFin?7nm?sub-7nm?
Platform NameIntel PurleyIntel PurleyIntel Cedar IslandIntel WhitleyIntel Eagle StreamIntel Eagle StreamIntel Mountain Stream
Intel Birch Stream
Intel Mountain Stream
Intel Birch Stream
MCP (Multi-Chip Package) SKUsNoYesNoNoYesTBDTBD (Possibly Yes)TBD (Possibly Yes)
SocketLGA 3647LGA 3647LGA 4189LGA 4189LGA 4677LGA 4677LGA 4677TBD
Max Core CountUp To 28Up To 28Up To 28Up To 40Up To 56?TBDTBDTBD
Max Thread CountUp To 56Up To 56Up To 56Up To 80Up To 112?TBDTBDTBD
Max L3 Cache38.5 MB L338.5 MB L338.5 MB L360 MB L3TBDTBDTBDTBD
Memory SupportDDR4-2666 6-ChannelDDR4-2933 6-ChannelUp To 6-Channel DDR4-3200Up To 8-Channel DDR4-3200Up To 8-Channel DDR5-4800Up To 8-Channel DDR5-5200?TBDTBD
PCIe Gen SupportPCIe 3.0 (48 Lanes)PCIe 3.0 (48 Lanes)PCIe 3.0 (48 Lanes)PCIe 4.0 (64 Lanes)PCIe 5.0 (80 lanes)PCIe 5.0PCIe 6.0?PCIe 6.0?
TDP Range140W-205W165W-205W150W-250W105-270WUp To 350W?TBDTBDTBD
3D Xpoint Optane DIMMN/AApache PassBarlow PassBarlow PassCrow PassCrow Pass?Donahue Pass?Donahue Pass?
CompetitionAMD EPYC Naples 14nmAMD EPYC Rome 7nmAMD EPYC Rome 7nmAMD EPYC Milan 7nm+AMD EPYC Genoa ~5nmAMD Next-Gen EPYC (Post Genoa)AMD Next-Gen EPYC (Post Genoa)AMD Next-Gen EPYC (Post Genoa)
Launch20172018202020212021-2022?2022?2023?2024?
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