Intel is expected to return to the HEDT market this year with the chiplet based 4th Gen Xeon “Sapphire Rapids-X” processors. As per earlier rumors, the chipmaker would launch its first modular HEDT CPUs in the second half of 2022, and target AMD’s 3rd Gen Threadripper lineup. If info from Prohardver (generally, very accurate) is to be believed, then the launch has been pushed to the second half of 2022.
The launch calenders of OEMs have changed the launch date of Sapphire Rapids-X from Q2 2022 to just “2022”, much like the Arc graphics cards. Given how the Sapphire Rapids-SP (hard) launch has been pushed to the second half of 2022, it’d be fair to assume that the HEDT parts won’t be coming anytime before that.
In addition to this, there’s evidence that indicates that Intel will only attack the higher-end (32 core and 64 core) Ryzen Threadrippers, with the low and entry-level segment left to AMD’s Ryzen 9 and 16-core Threadrippers. This largely boils down to Sapphire’s poor scaling at lower core counts. The W790 chipset which features an eight-channel memory controller requires all four chiplets to be enabled to function normally unlike AMD’s design which is independent of the dies.
Furthermore, Intel’s EMIB interconnect albeit more efficient than AMD’s substrate is not economically feasible for sub-$1,500 SKUs. At around $4,000-5,000 where the 64 core Threadrippers sell, it’s an excellent solution, but for 16 core designs, it’s technically and economically not feasible. This means that Intel will most likely attack the higher-end Threadripper PRO lineup, and possibly release a monolithic chip for the lower-end, if at all.