Intel revealed particulars about its upcoming merchandise at its newest earnings name with analysts and buyers on Thursday. The corporate disclosed that it had begun shipments of its 4th-Gen Xeon Scalable ‘Sapphire Rapids’ processors and stated that its codenamed Meteor Lake CPUs, as a result of be launched in 2023, can already boot working programs.
Meteor Lake Growth Goes On
“Intel 4[-based] Meteor Lake has now efficiently booted Home windows, Chrome, and Linux,” stated Pat Gelsinger, chief govt of Intel. “The pace at which the crew was capable of obtain this milestone is a big signal of the well being of each Meteor Lake and our Intel 4 course of expertise.”
Intel powered on its 14th Technology Core ‘Meteor Lake’ compute tile again in Q3 2021, so it’s about time (in Q1 2021) for Intel to begin testing the brand new CPU in real-world functions, which naturally contains working programs.
Intel’s 14th Technology Core ‘Meteor Lake’ is the corporate’s first mainstream consumer PC CPU to undertake a multi-tile design with Foveros packaging expertise. The important thing tile of Meteor Lake is its compute die made utilizing Intel 4 (I4) course of expertise and packing an unknown variety of Ocean Cove high-performance cores and energy-efficient cores. Meteor Lake additionally has a GPU tile with 96 EUs – 192 EUs, and an SoC die housing issues like a reminiscence controller, a PCIe controller, and a Thunderbolt controller, simply to call a few of them.
Sapphire Rapids Ships to Purchasers
Whereas mainstream availability of Intel’s 4th-Gen Xeon Scalable ‘Sapphire Rapids’ processor has slipped to the second half of 2022, a few of Intel’s clients have already obtained their manufacturing CPUs.
“I’m additionally happy to say that as dedicated, we started transport preliminary SKUs of our 4th-Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor, Sapphire Rapids, to pick out clients in Q1,” stated Gelsinger. “These are the primary of many SKUs for Sapphire Rapids, with extra as a result of ramp all through the rest of the yr.”
Intel’s CEO didn’t disclose which SKUs it shipped (and extra curiously what number of cores these components featured) and to which shoppers, but it surely pressured that these have been PRQ SKUs. We aren’t positive whether or not these PRQ fashions included 56-core or 60-core Sapphire Rapids processors that are actually within the wild, however not less than the brand new processors are certainly in manufacturing.
For many who don’t maintain observe of Intel’s terminology, Intel’s manufacturing launch qualification (PRQ) processors are thought of saleable as they’ve handed Intel’s qualification necessities, are produced in excessive quantity, are prepared for industrial cargo, and are sometimes supported by the relevant Intel guarantee agreements and buyer presentable documentation. Nonetheless, shipments of PRQ CPUs will not be thought of high-volume launches.
The top of Intel stated that extra PRQ SKUs of Sapphire Rapids CPUs might be shipped this quarter as the corporate is preparing for mainstream availability of those processors within the second half of the yr.
“Sapphire Rapids that you simply known as out, it was a primary PRQ this quarter and most of the extra SKUs PRQ [are coming] in Q2 and the second half of the yr,” stated Gelsinger. “That is why you is likely to be getting a few of these views of the extra muted ramp there. However we delivered on precisely what we stated: first quarter, PRQ of Sapphire Rapids, and we are going to see energy in that as we undergo the remainder of the yr.”
Ponte Vecchio Sampling
A number of years in the past, Intel launched Sapphire Rapids CPU along with its Ponte Vecchio compute GPU as two key elements of Argonne Nationwide Laboratory’s exascale Aurora supercomputer. This machine is ready to come back on-line this yr and whereas Intel appears to be transport PRQ SKUs of Sapphire Rapids processors, Ponte Vecchio GPUs are nonetheless sampling with some clients.
“Our flagship Ponte Vecchio GPU for top efficiency computing and AI is sampling to clients,” stated the chief exec of Intel. “Ponte Vecchio, together with Sapphire Rapids with excessive bandwidth reminiscence [HBM] will energy the two-ExaFLOPS Aurora supercomputer at Argonne Nationwide Laboratory.”
Holding in thoughts that Aurora is ready to come back on-line later this yr, we’d count on Ponte Vecchio to be practically prepared by now. Nonetheless, Intel’s reluctance to speak concerning the ramp of this high-margin product (Nvidia’s compute GPUs promote for $13,000 – $33,000 lately) intimately on the convention name appears to be like a bit odd. However, since Intel talked about clients, it in all probability signifies that the corporate expects to land orders for Ponte Vecchio from a number of shoppers.
However whereas Meteor Lake, Sapphire Rapids, and Ponte Vecchio merchandise exhibit that Intel is on observe to ship its next-generation merchandise for varied market segments kind of on time, the corporate’s outcomes for the primary quarter of 2022 will not be that spectacular.
For the quarter that ended on April 2, 2022, Intel’s earnings totaled $18.4 billion, down 7% yr over yr (YoY); its web revenue totaled $8.1 billion; whereas its gross margins have been 50.4%, down from 55.2% as a result of increased share of merchandise made utilizing 10nm-class (10nm SF, Intel 7/10ESF) course of applied sciences, new product ramps, and investments in new nodes.
Intel’s consumer computing group (CCG) gross sales dropped 13% to 9.3% billion in comparison with the primary quarter of 2021, which was the principle disappointment in Q1 for Intel. In the meantime, Intel’s knowledge heart and AI (DCAI) group elevated its income to $6 billion, up 22% year-over-year. Intel’s accelerated computing programs and graphics group (AXG) gross sales grew by 21% YoY to $219 million. Different enterprise teams additionally demonstrated important enhancements in comparison with Q1 2021.
Sometimes, chipmakers’ gross sales go up within the second quarter, however this isn’t what Intel expects. For Q2 2022, the corporate anticipates gross sales of $18 billion (a drop from Q1) and gross margin of round 48% (a lower from Q1). Intel attributes slowing gross sales of its merchandise to sluggish down gross sales of PCs, lockdowns in China, and geopolitical turbulence attributable to Russia’s ongoing struggle towards Ukraine.