Intel Sapphire Rapids gets Golden Cove
Without much of a surprise, Intel has finally confirmed that its next-gen server and the high-end consumer platform will be based on Golden Cove architecture.
A patch has been submitted by Intel’s Andi Kleen who is a long-time Linux kernel contributor. This patch changes the comment for Sapphire Rapids-X which was labeled as ‘Willow Cove’. This comment has been changed to ‘Golden Cove’ because, as Andi Kleen explains, Sapphire Rapids uses Golden Cove, not Willow Cove.
Intel avoided making this information public for a long time. But the roadmap and the features that Sapphire Rapids is said to deliver simply were not possible with Willow Cove. The new architecture will support DDR5 memory technology as well as PCIe Gen5 architecture and CXL 1.1 (Compute Express Link). There hasn’t been any confirmation from Intel (until now), but some users were quick to notice that Alder Lake and Sapphire Rapids would share many of the same CPU instructions, which suggested they use the same architecture.
This Linux kernel patch ultimately confirms Sapphire Rapids is using Golden Cove. This means that both Alder Lake and SR will use the same core architecture, which is actually mentioned in the same patch. This also means that both use a 10nm Enhanced SuperFin fabrication node. While Sapphire Rapids is considered a Xeon successor, it will also be a big comeback of high-end desktop consumer CPUs. According to our sources, motherboard vendors are already developing new products for the X-series CPUs based on Sapphire Rapids.
One of the processors has already been pictured and even taken apart. This specific variant is a 4th Gen Xeon Scalable CPU with visible four dies on the package.
Sapphire Rapids is to feature up to 56 cores and up to 80 PCIe Gen 5.0 lanes. It will support up to octa-channel DDR5 memory clocked at 4800 MHz. Some variants are to feature HBM2e memory going up to 64GB. The new CPUs are to utilize the LGA4677-X socket. It’s worth noting that the fact that Sapphire Rapids features Golden Cove has been revealed by AdoredTV back in October 2020: