Intel has started shipping the first wave of its 4th Gen Xeon Scalable processors. Codenamed Sapphire Rapids, these server chips were initially slated to land a year and a half ago, in early 2021. However, following manufacturing woes, we are in late 2022, still waiting for that launch. During a press event, Lisa Spelman, Corporate VP and GM of the Xeon Division, gave us an update on the chipmaker’s server roadmap. According to Spelman, clients have already started building systems and are testing the next-gen platform.
We are shipping to our customers now. They’re building out systems. We’ve mentioned they have private previews going and again, that DevCloud opportunity. We have had a lot of time to work with our customers and get them ready for Sapphire. So we really are driving the transition quickly for the customers that really value that performance uplift. That comes again, not just from the unscalable, but from some of the platform technologies that we talked about. We also know that customers will…are at different points of their transition. So there are customers that are actually still operating on our second gen. So they’ve been operating on Cascade Lake for those with the code name memory for a while now and they’re ready to move. So they’re moving to Sapphire. We’ll have Ice Lake customers that are moving to Emerald Rapids and then we have those performance push customers that are going to move every single generation. So we really do think that there’s enough ramp window, but that in about a year from now, we’ll still actually see both the ramp of Sapphire and Emerald continue on. So it’ll be multipronged for sure.Lisa Spelman, Corporate Vice President and General Manager Intel Xeon Products
Intel expects 2nd Gen Xeon Scalable customers to take the leap and adopt the next-gen Sapphire Rapids offerings. On the other hand, the following Emerald Rapids-SP family will be a potential upgrade for Ice Lake-SP hyperscalers.
On the subject of Emerald Rapids, Spelman believes these chips, although launching close to Sapphire, won’t adversely affect the latter. Intel is planning a multipronged approach with both platforms having a simultaneous ramp.