Xeon Will Reach 144 Cores Next Year

Intel plans to introduce two server processors in 2024, Granite Rapids and Sierra Forest, using chiplets to boost the number of CPUs and deliver new DRAM and I/O capabilities.
Linley Gwennap
Linley Gwennap

Intel plans a major revamp of its Xeon line in 2024. By midyear, it plans to deploy a processor code-named Sierra Forest, the company’s first server product to feature smaller, power-efficient CPUs. Packing 144 cores, the processor will more than double Xeon’s current highest core count. By the end of the next year, Granite Rapids is scheduled to extend the traditional Xeon lineup with a more powerful CPU and a large jump in maximum core count.

The new products will also leap forward in their physical design. Both will incorporate Intel 3 transistors, so named because they compare well to TSMC’s leading-edge 3 nm technology. They will also be the first Xeon processors to employ heterogeneous chiplets. In particular, Granite will comprise one, two, or three compute chiplets, making it simpler for Intel to scale the number of CPUs.

AMD has used chiplets in its server processors since 2017, and the company has also developed a processor, code-named Bergamo, that uses a smaller, power-efficient CPU to scale to 128 cores. By adopting its rival’s techniques, Intel should be able to achieve competitive core counts for the first time in several years. During that time, Xeon has lagged in transistor technology as well, but the Intel 3 products should close the gap against AMD’s Turin, a 3 nm server processor also expected to ship in 2024.

At the recent Hot Chips conference, Intel provided a preview of the two new Xeon processors without disclosing any product specifics or performance details. Together, they should deliver big improvements to Xeon customers.

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