Intel announces Sapphire Rapids CPUs with DDR5, PCIe 5.0, and CXL 1.1 support

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The upcoming Sapphire Rapids CPU series just got confirmed by Intel in their Architecture Day 2020 event. Sapphire Rapids chips have a planned launch in 2021. They will get support for features such as DDR5 RAM and PCIe Gen 5.0, and CXL 1.1 interconnect for a real “next-generation” data center chip experience. They also have plans to announce OneAPI later in their roadmap to a unified data center environment.

We still don’t know the exact technology process which Intel plans to use with this generation. A good guess, however, would be their 10nm SuperFin as the Ice Lake processors already use vanilla 10nm process. The Sapphire Rapids will also feature TME or Total Memory Encryption. This feature encrypts system memory using specific CPU architecture for hardware encryption.

In this case, if someone manages to get their hands on a memory dump. It will just be random garbage for them. Now TME is already announced for Tiger Lake generation, which uses earlier mentioned 10nm SuperFin technology. Consequently, Sapphire Rapids generations will also be based on this process or anything newer than that.

Intel Sapphire Rapids
Intel (Image: Wallpaper Cave)

Intel also confirms that they plan to release a new 144 layer QLC later this year. That is much higher in specifications than our current market standard. It offers around 50 percent increase in density compared to thrid generation QLC from Intel.

Something that Intel is working on to streamline their goal of a unified data center. This new platform of CPUs will compete against AMD’s Zen 4 architecture based EPYC Geonoa processors. This lineup from AMD is also moving to a new platform called SP5.

New features from Intel:

Now AMD has already promised new features, mainly better memory with support for DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 with their Genoa products. Since Intel is going to compete against AMD with their Sapphire Rapids chips, they have two main features above that.

First is increased core output or performance, and the other is decreased cost per core for ownership. Intel thinks that with their new CXL 1.1 and the other dedicated features in place, the better single-core performance will not be enough for users to switch over to team red.

Also Read: Intel Stock Shortages to last till 2023

We also got a confirmation for the upcoming Alder Lake Hybrid technology chips in this event. They will have  Golden Cover cores paired with Gracemont with an expected release somewhere in 2021, according to the published roadmap published. In simple words, Golden cove architecture is the new technology that will replace  Willow cove microarchitecture in Tiger Lake chips from Intel. It will offer better speeds and a higher IPC performance in the newer CPUs. The same is the case for Gracemont cores. They will replace the older “monts” generation.

Intel Sapphire Rapids

The main feature that intel has up their sleeve for Alder Lake is the bigLittle format. These chips will feature two types of cores smaller cores for light redundant tasks and bigger high-performance cores for demanding work.

The smaller cores in these chips will reduce standby power consumption by as much as 91 percent, which will reflect in better battery life and performance. The bigger cores will ensure excellent performance even on portable and light machines.

This concludes all the details about the upcoming product from Intel. Team blue surely has the next year packed with releases and new devices, but they aren’t the only players in the market. Stay tuned to find out what AMD has in store for professionals and Enthusiasts next year.

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