Intel has again delayed the launch of its 4th generation Xeon Scalable server processors, codenamed Sapphire Rapids.
While the company has previously disclosed the need to change the design of Sapphire Rapids due to security flaws, documents have been obtained by: Igor’s lab (opens in new tab) suggest that these problems were serious.
In all, Intel is said to have had to fix nearly 500 different bugs affecting its next-generation Xeon chips, contributing to the launch delay to spring 2023.
“Sapphire Rapids brings many new innovations to the industry and we are working closely with our customers to get these innovations in their hands. We are building in additional validation time and as a result, we expect to ramp up Sapphire Rapids later in the year.”, Intel said in a statement: Slice Mag Pro.
More features, more bugs
The Sapphire Rapids rollout was interrupted by repeated delays. Originally slated to launch in 2021, the new Xeon chips were first delayed to early 2022 and then to the middle and end of the year.
The company delivered on its promise to put the new chips in the hands of select customers in Q1, but it now looks like most will have to wait until the end of Q1 2023 to access the silicon. .
However, Sapphire Rapids holds some promise. The highest performing SKU is expected to contain up to 60 cores and the line features a number of new features such as Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX), Data Streaming Accelerator (DSA), CXL 1.1 protocol, DDR5 and HBM2E memory support, PCIe Gen 5 interface and more.
With such an extensive range of new functionalities, bugs are to be expected. Usually, the manufacturer will address them with microcode and software patches, but it has supposedly taken Intel 12 design iterations to address the issues with Sapphire Rapids.
“With innovation comes a level of complexity, and we see that all customers – OEMs, ODMs, the hyperscalers – have a strong demand for platform validation with us,” explains Sandra Rivera, head of data center silicon, last time the launch was postponed.
“Right now we are building in more platform and product validation time, so we see the Sapphire Rapids ramp coming later in the year than we originally forecast.”
However, Rivera was quick to allay concerns that repeated Sapphire Rapid raids indicate a delay in the launch of the next-generation Xeon chips, codenamed Emerald Rapids. As it stands, the release of the fifth-generation Xeon chips is still slated for late next year.
Via Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab)