According to a big leak, Intel Sapphire Rapids should be more than ordinary server processors as we know them today. No x86 server CPU carries gigabytes of its own memory.
It seems that Intel Sapphire Rapids CPUs are going to take over Ice Lake-SP, which, according to information from this week, will be delayed, so it looks like the arrival of future generations may be delayed in a cascade, and this also corresponds to the fact that the Aurora supercomputer will be put into operation later than planned. In this case, it should be the impact of a delayed 7nm process, but Aurora is also to be based on Sapphire Rapids CPUs, so it fits together nicely.
Intel knows very well that it’s Sapphire Rapids will no longer go against 7nm, but against 5nm EPYC processors, so it needs its new processors to be a very significant step forward. And according to AdoredTV, this is now in the form of an MCM (multichip) design using a total of up to 56 Golden Cove cores (they are also being prepared for Alder Lake) and even up to 64 GB of HBM2’s own on-board memory. Other data speak of a 400W TDP and a very significant shift in IPC, which is a matter of Golden Cove cores. Whether this is all true, we will see.
Of particular interest, however, are the HBM2 memories, which we have never seen right next to the x86 processor. Sapphire Rapids should otherwise support DDR5 memory, so it is clear that HBM2 will form another layer in the entire hierarchy and will be placed between the L3 cache on the one hand and DDR5 on the other.
Sapphire Rapids processors are scheduled to release next year, according to information from the two-month-old Intel Architecture Day 2020, but that may change. In addition to DDR5, they will also support the PCIe 5.0 bus, which will double the line throughput again compared to the 4.0 version, but the right high-speed interface should arrive in the form of CXL.
AMD against Sapphire Rapids will probably have its EPYC generation Genoa at its disposal, where it will also be teeming with 5nm, DDR5, and PCI-E 5.0. But it’s hard to say who will launch their processors sooner. AMD is aiming for the end of next year.