Intel has launched its much-delayed Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs will be available in 2023.

The new processors, branded Xeon Max, were announced in advance of Supercomputing '22, and will feature 56 of Intel's 12th generation x86 cores, and will feature the newer I/O options DDR5, PCIe 5.0, and Compute Express Link (CXL) 1.1.

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– Intel

All these features are available in AMD's rival 4th Gen Epyc Genoa x86 processor, which has 96 cores and can be ordered now.

Not so Rapid...?

Xeon Max will have 64GB of high bandwidth memory (HBM), with around 1TB/s of memory bandwidth. It will run at 350W and includes accelerators for AI and HPC, which Intel claims can double the deep learning performance of a system compared with AMD's (previous generation) Epyc 7763 CPU.

The company also announced a new GPU Max Series, code-named Ponte Vecchio, already in line for use at the forthcoming (and delayed) two-exaflop Aurora supercomputer at Argonne National Laboratory.

Intel says this is its highest-density processor, with 100 billion transistors in a 47-tile package. Both the CPU and GPU share an "oneAPI" software ecosystem with a single programming environment. 

"To ensure no HPC workload is left behind, we need a solution that maximizes bandwidth, maximizes compute, maximizes developer productivity, and ultimately maximizes impact," said Jeff McVeigh, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Super Compute Group at Intel. "The Intel Max Series product family brings high bandwidth memory to the broader market, along with oneAPI, making it easy to share code between CPUs and GPUs and solve the world’s biggest challenges faster.”

The Max Series products are scheduled to launch in January 2023, with Max GPU blades going to Argonne National Laboratory for Aurora, and Xeon Max CPUs going to Los Alamos National Laboratory, Kyoto University, and other supercomputing sites.

The GPUs will be available in several forms including a 300-watt double-wide PCIe card with 56 Xe cores and 48GB of HBM2e memory, a 450-watt OAM module with 112 Xe cores and 96GB of HBM, and the top performance Max Series 1550 GPU, a 600-watt OAM module with 128 Xe cores and 128GB of HBM.

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