Intel Granite Rapids for network servers at the edge
The company is preparing an update for its Xeon D-series, currently featuring Ice Lake architecture.
Intel has recently revealed some details about its Granite Rapids-D architecture in the official Instruction Set guide, along with Lunar Lake and Arrow Lake. This is a new Xeon-D series that targets the communications and network sector, and it is expected to launch no sooner than 2024, so at least two years after the Ice Lake-D series.
Granite Rapids-D is different from the SP and AP versions of Granite Rapids, which are designed for datacenters. The Xeon-D series will have two variants: HCC (High Core Count) and XCC (Extreme Core Count). Both will use the BGA-4368 socket, but they will have different configurations.
The HCC variant will have one Granite Rapids LCC compute die and four memory channels, while the XCC variant will have one Granite Rapids HCC compute die and eight memory channels. The XCC variant will also have two I/O dies, while the HCC variant will have one.
The reason for having two I/O dies on the XCC variant is to provide more connectivity and flexibility for PCIe Express 5.0 and 4.0, CXL interface, Ethernet and Accelerations. The first I/O die will handle these functions for the CPU, while the second I/O die will offer additional options for Ethernet and Accelerations.
The first leaked motherboard layout for Granite Rapids-D also demonstrates the intricate design and the abundance of options for networking and connectivity.
Granite Rapids-D is still in development and Intel has not confirmed which version of the Xeon Granite Rapids will debut first. However, the appearance of this architecture in the official guide suggests that Intel is making progress on its roadmap.