During a webinar with investors, Intel showed a roadmap of upcoming products. The most attention is the one that will arrive in the first half of 2024. It will be a Xeon “Sierra Forest” server chip, which will be fully built on small efficient cores, which the company uses today as a supplement in mobile and desktop processors, or separately in the cheapest energy-saving chips for notebooks and minicomputers.
Sierra Forest will stand on 144 atomic cores of the upcoming Crestmont architecture, the successor to the current Gracemont series. The processor will come from the Intel 3 production technology and head to the LGA 7529 platform. This will also be home to Granite Rapids chips, which will be built on the large Redwood Cove cores. Arrives shortly after Sierra Forest. Intel has not yet disclosed more detailed information about the parameters, TDP or target performance.
Sierra Forest’s opponent will be AMD’s Epyc Bergamo. The main rival is also preparing small and large cores, but such a designation is too strict for him. With Intel, the cores differ significantly in equipment and performance, they are quite different architectures. In the case of AMD, it is a derivative of powerful cores.
Bergamo will use up to 128 Zen 4c cores, which have the same instruction set as Zen 4, but use optimized manufacturing and use less silicon because they are not rated for such high clocks. For some tasks, it is more advantageous to have several slightly slower units. The sister Epyc Genoa server model has 96 full-fat Zen 4 cores.
Intel will thus have the upper hand on paper with a 128-core processor, but in practice it will probably be slower, so Crestmont would have to make a big evolutionary leap. For AMD, the fact that Zen 4c supports SMT, so it works with 256 threads, also plays into the cards. In addition, Bergamo will arrive a year earlier, AMD expects it to arrive in the first half of 2023.