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Skylake-SP Xeon List Published: Moving from E7/E5 Naming to Xeon Gold and Xeon Platinum

Presumably by accident, Intel this week has published a list of its upcoming processors that belong to the soon-to-launch Skylake Xeon families. The names were published by Intel in a PCN, or Product Change Notification, which makes it likely that this was an accidental disclosure.

In the PCN, it details that LGA3647 CPUs (which covers Xeon Phi processors and the upcoming Skylake Xeons) will have an arrow indicating which way processors should be oriented in the socket. It seems like an arbitrary PCN, just printing an arrow on a heat spreader, which makes this published list somewhat unexpected. But these names show the key parts of the Purley platforms for servers.

One of the poorly kept secrets in the industry over the last few weeks is that Intel is changing the nomenclature of its Xeon CPUs going forward. This will be a difficult change to explain, given that users are so familiar with the previous naming system, and the translation between old and new is not a simple one-to-one mapping. Skylake-SP thus introduces the new Xeon Gold and Xeon Platinum lineups for different markets of servers. We expect all these CPUs to be on LGA3647, given that the PCN seems to suggest that this singular print marking on the heatspreader was not on this socket design before.

Unfortunately, the published list does not have full CPU information, but we do get names and frequencies of 34 Skylake-SP processors (see details below) that will belong to the Xeon Gold and Xeon Platinum lineups, as well as the fact that these processors are designated with the H0 stepping. We might not see all these processors at launch (which at this time has still not officially been announced), and we expect Intel to expand the Xeon Gold/Platinum family with new models over the several quarters following the launch.

Based on the document, the initial Xeon Gold family will consist of 20 processors featuring 5000- and 6000-series model numbers. The Xeon Platinum lineup will feature 14 chips belonging to the 8000-series.

Basic Specifications of Intel Xeon Gold and Platinum CPUs
Xeon Platinum 8180M2.5 GHzCD8067303192101SR37T
Xeon Platinum 8180CD8067303314400SR377
Xeon Platinum 8176M2.1 GHzCD8067303133605SR37U
Xeon Platinum 8176CD8067303314700SR37A
Xeon Platinum 8170MCD8067303319201SR3BD
Xeon Platinum 8170CD8067303327601SR37H
Xeon Platinum 81682.7 GHzCD8067303327701SR37J
Xeon Platinum 81642.0 GHzCD8067303408800SR3BB
Xeon Platinum 8160T2.1 GHzCD8067303592800SR3J6
Xeon Platinum 8160MCD8067303406600SR3B8
Xeon Platinum 8160CD8067303405600SR3B0
Xeon Platinum 81583.0 GHzCD8067303406500SR3B7
Xeon Platinum 81563.6 GHzCD8067303368800SR3AV
Xeon Platinum 81532.0 GHzCD8067303408900SR3BA
Xeon Gold 61543.0 GHzCD8067303592700SR3J5
Xeon Gold 61522.1 GHzCD8067303406000SR3B4
Xeon Gold 61502.7 GHzCD8067303328000SR37K
Xeon Gold 61482.4 GHzCD8067303406200SR3B6
Xeon Gold 6142M2.6 GHzCD8067303405700SR3B1
Xeon Gold 61422.6 GHzCD8067303405400SR3AY
Xeon Gold 6140M2.3 GHzCD8067303405500SR3AZ
Xeon Gold 61402.3 GHzCD8067303405200SR3AX
Xeon Gold 6138T2.0 GHzCD8067303592900SR3J7
Xeon Gold 61382.0 GHzCD8067303406100SR3B5
Xeon Gold 61363.0 GHzCD8067303405800SR3B2
Xeon Gold 6134M3.2 GHzCD8067303330402SR3AS
Xeon Gold 61343.2 GHzCD8067303330302SR3AR
Xeon Gold 61322.6 GHzCD8067303592500SR3J3
Xeon Gold 6130T2.1 GHzCD8067303593000SR3J8
Xeon Gold 61302.1 GHzCD8067303409000SR3B9
Xeon Gold 61283.4 GHzCD8067303592600SR3J4
Xeon Gold 6126T2.6 GHzCD8067303593100SR3J9
Xeon Gold 61262.6 GHzCD8067303405900SR3B3
Xeon Gold 51223.6 GHzCD8067303330702SR3AT

Most importantly, the PCN confirms that Intel is about to scrap its Xeon E5/E7 naming nomenclature for something different with the introduction of the Skylake-SP/EP processors. Instead of E5 and E7, Intel will call its CPUs for 2P and 4P/MP servers Xeon Gold and Xeon Platinum. Moreover, the feature-sets of chips aimed at different kinds of servers will also be different, just like today. The upcoming Xeon Gold CPUs will work in 2P configurations and will thus replace the existing Xeon E5-series. Meanwhile, it is logical to assume then the replacement for the Xeon E7 will be called the Xeon Platinum, and apart from higher maximum core count will also support various additional capabilities, including RAS features. We suspect that there will be more names than Gold and Platinum coming to market to cover other aspects of Intel's product stack.

In the processor stack above, we also get T and M processors in the mix. T processors have historically been lower power processors, and this is likely still the case given that the T processors have lower frequencies than most of the rest of the CPUs. Some CPUs, like the Xeon Gold 6130 and 6130T, are at 2.0 GHz for both: this is likely relating to different turbo frequencies, but also the T product is binned for lower power. The M processors are somewhat of a mystery, as we've never had M on a processor before, except in mobile. Speculating a bit on our part, this could be a reference to MCDRAM, which is a feature we see on Xeon Phi processors. Although to be clear, we have nothing to suggest that Intel will be including MCDRAM on these parts, as the Xeon CPU die itself may be big and the MCDRAM silicon is also relatively sizeable. We suspect that the M processors will have a given feature or features in common, which might come at an extra expense in the final price tag.

In previous generations, Intel typically creates three different core designs for it's latest Xeons: a low core count (LCC), medium/high core count (MCC/HCC, depending on the document), and an extreme core count (XCC) version. The XCC version has the highest amount of cores, the most cache, and costs the most, but typically the per-core frequency is low. Intel sometimes offers the XCC in a small core count configuration, but with a large cache, and something like the Xeon Platinum 8156 at 3.6 GHz most likely fits that description. One of the things that should seem obvious is that the naming of each processor is not linear with clock frequency. For example, the Gold 6150 runs at 2.7 GHz base, but the Gold 6152 runs at 2.1 GHz base. Using that fourth digit extensively means that we hope Intel has a strong and obvious way to describe which part of the CPU names mean specific things. At this point it is hard to see a specific pattern, given we do not know core counts.




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