Intel has a wafer full of Raptor Lake dies on display here at Innovation 2022 in San Jose, but after closer examination, it is apparent that the wafer contains 34-core Raptor Lake processors that haven’t been announced. It also appears that the wafer was displayed unintentionally. That’s exciting because Intel had already announced its Raptor Lake chips earlier today with a peak of 24 cores, but there wasn’t any mention of a 34-core model.
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We first discovered the wafer in the booth, and it was readily apparent that the dies were larger than the Raptor Lake desktop dies we saw in Israel. After a discussion with the booth staff and Dr. Ian Cuttress of More Than Moore, the booth staff, unaware that these were unreleased CPUs, discovered a label on the carrier and realized that this was a wafer of unreleased CPU silicon.
A closer look at the wafer implies that the design is not of the standard Raptor Lake CPUs. As you can see, the cores aren’t aligned horizontally in two rows as we see with the typical Raptor Lake die (you can see an Intel diagram of the Raptor Lake-S desktop chips in the second slide of the above album, and the actual die at the end of the article).
Additionally, the 34 cores appear interconnected with a mesh, like the Ice Lake models (third album image), and not the familiar ring bus we see with Intel’s desktop PC chips. We can also make out eight DDR5 memory controllers and what appear to be UPI blocks, all of which are not on the standard desktop PC models.
This is likely what is known as the Sapphire Rapids MCC die, but with Raptor Lake branding for the workstation market. We’re working on further clarification.
The booth staff was unaware that this wafer contained unannounced 34-core chips, and there was some confusion about which processors were etched on the wafer. Finally, after some discussion with the booth staff and predictions that these were Ice Lake processors, a staff member showed us proof that the die was of actual Raptor Lake silicon — the back of the die carrier contains a sticker that makes it clear with a label that says “Raptor Lake-S 34-Core.”
The die appears larger than the die that drops into the standard desktop PCs with the LGA 1700 socket, so it appears to be too large to fit inside the package for desktop PCs. That means this is likely a CPU destined for the workstation market.
Additionally, the die contains 34 distinct core areas that appear to be connected by a mesh, meaning these are all likely high-performance cores (p-cores). The design doesn’t include quad-core clusters of e-cores as we see with desktop PC models. As a reminder, the peak configuration for the desktop is eight p-cores and 16 e-cores. You can see a picture of the standard Raptor Lake dies for desktop processors below.