Intel has once again delayed the full-scale launch of its latest generation Xeon server CPUs, codenamed Sapphire Rapids.
At a conference earlier this week, the company’s head of data center silicon, Sandra Rivera, announced that Intel will need more time to validate the new chips with different system configurations.
Rivera assured customers that Sapphire Rapids chips will still be widely available later this year, but said unexpected bottlenecks led the company to further delay high-volume manufacturing.
Intel Sapphire Rapids delays
The Sapphire Rapids launch was punctuated by repeated delays. Originally scheduled to be released in 2021, the new Xeon chips were delayed to early 2022. And later, Intel was forced to delay high-volume availability yet again, this time to mid-year.
The company made good on its promise to get the new chips into the hands of select customers in the first quarter, but now it looks like most will have to wait until the end of the third quarter to gain access to the silicon.
“With innovation comes a level of complexity, and we see that all customers – OEMs, ODMs, hyperscalers – have strong demand for platform validation with us,” explained Rivera. “At this point, we are building in more platform and product validation time, so we see the Sapphire Rapids ramp later in the year than we had originally anticipated.”
“Intel [third-gen Xeon Scalable] Ice Lake will be the highest volume product for 2022 as we launch Sapphire later this year and of course throughout 2023,” he added.
However, Rivera was quick to dismiss concerns that repeated delays on the Sapphire Rapid are indicative of a delay in the launch of the next generation of Xeon chips, codenamed Emerald Rapids.
She told the audience that Emerald Rapids chips are still scheduled for release in late 2023, bringing with them a “nice performance boost” in memory, networking and overall performance.