Intel's server roadmap and product families have been fairly quiet in recent years. The company reorganized its server chips into the Xeon Scalable family and moved away from the old E7 / E5 / E3 markings in 2017. The company has reworked the Core X series, but has since the introduction of the Epyc family by AMD nothing changed to Xeon. These changes are apparently made in the first half of 2019, with the introduction of the latest high-end Xeon parts from Intel, Cascade Lake Advanced Performance. Unlike traditional Cascade Lake chips, these chips offer significantly more cores and support for systems with up to two slots.
The current product line of Xeon Scalable processors like the Xeon Platinum 8180 with 28 CPU Kerne. The new Cascade Lake AP chips, on the other hand, can pack up to 48 cores with an MCM. Intel has not yet announced details of its connection, although it is very likely that it will use Intel's own Embedded Multi-Interconnect Bridge (EMIB). EMIB is already being used on Hades Canyon / Kaby Lake "G" silicon from Intel, and we suspect it's also used here. Details of how Intel connects the MCMs together or how many cores are in each chiplet – that's what we have not yet.
It is not surprising that Intel is taking this step. If AMD had 32-core CPUs on the market, Intel's monolithic 28-core chips with their higher IPCs were not automatically penalized, but AMD is widely expected to be next-gen 64 Cores to reach Epyc, and we've known for years that Intel would not use monolithic chips forever.
Intel predicts performance in Linpack 1.21x better than Xeon Scalable 8180 (3.4x better than AMD Epyc 7601), 1.83x better in Stream Triad (1.3x better than Epyc 7601) and 17x Improvement of AI / Deep Learning Interference compared to Xeon Platinum at startup. We have no launch date for Cascade Lake other than 1H, so it's a good bet that all Intel panels will compete with AMD's Epyc 2-silicone (codenamed Rome) and 7nm at TSMC. As big as 12 memory channels is, that's not crazy – as the CPU core scales up, motherboards need more memory channels just to keep things relatively balanced.
Like the Cascade Lake standard, Cascade Lake AP supports Intel Optane Persistent Memory DIMMs and hardware level fixes for issues like Specter and Meltdown. If there is no official release date, we'll bet that these chips will not give much before the summer – then they should have an AMD company.
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