Intel “Birch Stream” platform details for future Granite Rapids and Sierra Forest CPUs leak out

Published: Mar 26th 2023, 12:00 GMT   Comments

Intel Next-Gen Xeon series platform detailed

Slides from Intel’s internal presentation on the next-gen Xeon platform were just shared by hardware leaker YuuKi-AnS

Since the slides are dated back to 2021, one must assume that the specs are a subject to change. In fact, some rumors already point towards different core counts for the Granite Rapids series, so there are definitely some changes to the platform that haven’t been confirmed yet.

It is worth adding that 2 days ago new pictures showing the massive LGA-7529 socket have emerged. This socket is to be used by flagship Xeon series such as Granite Rapids and Sierra Forest, both products are not to be released this year. What is now known as “Socket BR” should support up to 500W TDP SKUs.

Intel Birch Stream LGA-7529 validation platform, Source: Bilibili

Intel is targeting up to 40% higher performance for its 80-core+ Granite Rapids-SP Xeon CPU and up to 2x aggregate performance over the same chip when Granite Rapids-AP silicon is considered with 120 cores. As long as rumors and leaks are concerned, those core count specs can go even higher. What is important to note is that Granite and Sierra are not the same products. The former is designed exclusively with Redwood Cove “Performance” cores while the other and is to only use Efficient cores.

Intel Granite Rapids-SP, Source: YuuKi_AnS

As a reminder, Granite is said to appear after Emeralds Rapids, which is now scheduled to launch by the end of this year. Both the Emerald and Sapphire Rapids series are designed for existing Eagle Stream platform, but the Granite Rapids and Sierra Forest silicons will use a newer platform known as Birch Stream.

The slides confirm support for up to 8-channel DDR5-6400 memory on Socket E (LGA-4677), 350W TDP CPUs and 88 PCIe Gen5 lanes. The more advanced Socket BR (LGA-7529) platform would support 12-channel DDR5-6400 memory and up to 96 PCIe Gen5 lanes. Both platforms are  to support 64 CXL 2.0 lanes.

Intel Granite Rapids-SP, Source: YuuKi_AnS

The slides appear to list at least four variants of Granite Rapids SKUs: UCC, XCC, HCC and LCC. Some of these silicons may eventually end up as Xeon Workstation series (HEDT) platform.

Intel Granite Rapids silicons & Granite Rapids-AP cooling methods, Source: YuuKi_AnS

Intel developed three cooling methods for LGA-7529 packages depending on the CPU TDP ranging from 350 to 500W. Enterprise customers will be able to choose between air, and liquid cold plate designs for a 5-chiplet design of Granite Rapids-AP silicon.

The company is yet to confirm the details of their next-gen Xeon SP/AP platform. The Granite and Sierra are to launch after Emeralds Rapids, which is to be released later this year.

Source: Bilibili, YuuKi_AnS

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