Intel announced the worlds first 288 core processor the Xeon

Intel announced the world’s first 288-core processor – the Xeon Sierra Forest server

At the Innovation 2023 event, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said that the family includes 5th generation Xeon server chips Sierra forest A 288-core processor will appear. Let’s remember that Sierra Forest chips will consist exclusively of energy-efficient E-cores that support only one thread. The company had previously announced plans to release Sierra Forest with up to 144 cores.

    Image source: Tom's Hardware

Image source: Tom’s Hardware

The new Sierra Forest processors utilize an E-Core architecture and are designed to provide maximum multi-threaded performance for scale-out, cloud and container environments. You can read more about it here. One of the key features of these chips is the use of a chiplet design. The computing cores of processors are located in chiplets based on Intel 3 process technology, and Intel 7 process technology is used for auxiliary chiplets with memory controllers, input/output interfaces (I/O) and chiplets used for implementing PCIe, CXL etc. are responsible for UPI buses as well as various auxiliary accelerators.

The decision to release the Sierra Forest model with 288 cores is not surprising, since these processors use the same structure as the Xeon Granite Rapids server with powerful P-cores, where up to three computing chiplets can be “stitched together” with cores EMIB -Connection technology. Intel, on the other hand, can fit up to 144 E-cores in a chiplet, and the company placed two such crystals on a substrate.

    Intel Sierra Forest.  Image source: Wild_C/X

Intel Sierra Forest. Image source: Wild_C/X

According to Tom’s Hardware, Intel recently accidentally released a press video showing the packaging of the 144-core Sierra Forest processor. The chip consists of a large central chip with computing E-cores and two auxiliary chips with input/output interfaces.

    Intel Granite Rapids.  Image source: Wild_C/X

Intel Granite Rapids. Image source: Wild_C/X

The same Intel Granite Rapids uses three large central chiplets with cores and two auxiliary chips. The similarity of the processor structure suggests that Intel could release processor models with three large chiplets in the future, which will contain a total of up to 432 computing cores.

Intel Sierra Forest will compete in the northern segment with AMD Bergamo processors with 128 and 256 cores, which also use the Zen 4c approach to using small, energy-efficient cores. AMD Bergamo processors are already on the market. Sierra Forest will be available in the first half of next year. Intel has already announced plans to release a second generation of Xeon processors based on E-Cores with the Clearwater Forest series. AMD, in turn, has not yet announced the successor to the Bergamo series.

As part of the Innovation 2023 conference, Intel also confirmed that the 5th generation Xeon processors in the Granite Rapids series will launch on December 14th. They have to compete with AMD’s 5th generation EPYC Turin series chips. However, the latter are not expected until the end of 2024.

About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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