Yesterday we focused on the Intel Xeon Sapphire Rapids Support of features such as HBM. Today we have another update. Intel is officially resetting expectations for the next-generation Sapphire Rapids Xeon family.
Intel Sapphire Rapids Xeon Expectations Reset to Q2 2022
Prior to today’s announcement, Intel had been guiding for a Q4 2021/ Q1 2022 timeframe. With today’s announcement, it is expecting that it will have some initial production in Q1 2022, but the volume ramp will occur in Q2. If we compare this to the Ice Lake Xeon series, this is similar to the wording used for those products and realistically we saw significantly more chip availability in May 2021 than we did at the early April launch.
This is a push that we have expected to happen for some time. Once Ice Lake was pushed to Q2 2021, the immediate question emerged as to whether some customers would wait for Sapphire Rapids which was slated for less than a year in the future. If we go back to the summer of 2020, and our The 2021 Intel Ice Pickle How 2021 Will be Crunch Time piece, we had the 2017 to 2023 roadmap drawn and one can see basically a two-quarter slip which makes sense.
Here, one can see that the transition from Ice Lake to Sapphire Rapids was set to happen very quickly. While the target dates were pushed, it looks like Intel is trying to maintain at least four quarters of spacing between generational launches.
Overall, it is great that Intel is at least getting out ahead of this one. The Ice to Sapphire timeline compression was one of those points that most in the industry have known Sapphire would slip, but there was no official confirmation. That led to a case where Intel’s public roadmap would make customers look at the timeline between the current-gen of pre-CXL parts and the CXL/ PCIe Gen5/ DDR5 future generation only a few months away and take pause considering delay options. With this new guidance, both customers and OEMs have a bit more time to do validation and get a better launch organized. OEMs also get a bit more time with Ice Lake platforms in the market before the option of Sppahire Rapids becomes available.
We just want to say this is a great direction by Intel starting to get further ahead of the news cycle. The industry is enormous and there are too many folks involved to keep secrets long.