Intel has once again delayed the launch of its 4th generation Xeon Scalable server processors, codenamed Sapphire Rapids.
Although the company had previously disclosed the need to change the design of the Sapphire Rapids due to security flaws, documents obtained by Igor’s Laboratory (opens in new tab) suggest that these problems were serious.
In total, Intel is said to have had to address nearly 500 different bugs affecting its next-generation Xeon chips, helping to delay the release until spring 2023.
“Sapphire Rapids brings many new innovations to the industry, and we are working closely with our customers to get these innovations into their hands. We are building additional validation time and as a result, we expect to ramp up Sapphire Rapids later this year,” Intel said. , in a statement given to TechRadar Pro.
More features, more bugs
The launch of Sapphire Rapids has been plagued by repeated delays. Originally slated for release in 2021, the new Xeon chips were first moved to early 2022 and then mid- and late-year.
The company kept 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 get access to the silicon.
Sapphire Rapids shows promise, however. The most efficient SKU is expected to have up to 60 cores and the series has a number of new features including Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX), Data Streaming Accelerator (DSA), CXL 1.1 protocol, DDR5 and HBM2E memory support, PCIe Gen 5 interface And much more.
With such an extensive array of new features, bugs are to be expected. Usually, the manufacturer will address these with microcodes and software patches, but it supposedly took Intel a dozen design iterations to address the problems with the Sapphire Rapids.
“With innovation comes a level of complexity, and we see that all customers – OEMs, ODMs, hyperscalers – have a strong demand for platform validation with us,” explained Sandra Rivera, head of data center silicon, last time the launch was delayed.
“At this point, we’re building more platform and product validation time, so we’re seeing the Sapphire Rapids ramp up later in the year than we originally anticipated.”
However, Rivera was quick to dismiss concerns that the repeated Sapphire Rapid delays are indicative of a delay in the release of the next generation of Xeon chips, codenamed Emerald Rapids. As it stands, the fifth generation of Xeon chips is still scheduled for release late next year.
Via Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab)