Intel Leaks Skylake-SP Xeon Family With Gold And Platinum Branding Details

Intel Sign

I've said this a million times before, but let us make it a million and one—there are no mulligans on the Internet. None. Zip. Zilch. If you post something that you did not mean to post and it has any kind of importance, it does not matter how quickly you delete it, someone on the web saw it, screen captured it, and shared it with the world. I bring this up because Intel for a brief period published a list of its upcoming processors that belong to its unreleased Skylake Xeon SKUs. That list is no longer available to view on Intel's website, but a snapshot via Google cache remains.

The processors were published by Intel in an updated Product Change Notification (PCN) document. Without a doubt this was accidental leak on Intel's part, as someone jumped the gun before the chip maker intended to make this information public. It happens, quite frequently actually—sometimes it is a web retailer posting a product listing before it's been given the green light, and sometimes the accidental disclosures come from the company itself, such is the case here.

Intel Wafer

So, what does this leak tell us? Without an official announcement, the updated PCN is the closest thing to a confirmation that Intel is planning to change the nomenclature of its Xeon processor line. With the introduction of forthcoming Skylake-SP parts, Intel will also introduce some new names, those being Xeon Gold and Xeon Platinum. These will be used to differentiate between server markets.

The last that was leaked is not complete or comprehensive, though it does give the names and frequencies of nearly three dozen Xeon processors, including 20 Xeon Gold SKUs ranging in clockspeed from 2GHz to 3.6GHz, and 14 Xeon Platinum processors with the same clockspeed range. Presumably the Platinum parts will have more cache and/or physical CPU cores, plus other additional features. The Gold CPUs will fall under Intel's Xeon 5000 and 6000 series, while the Platinum chips will be its 8000 series.

Barring a last minute change on Intel's part—or a fantastic fake-out—, it appears that future Xeon processors will swap the company's existing Xeon E5 and E7 nomenclature for Gold and Platinum branding. The Gold CPUs will replace the Xeon E5 series and work in 2P configurations, while the Xeon E7 is being renamed Platinum.

There is one other change coming, a comparatively minor one. The new server chips will gain a marking on the IHS (Interposer Heat Sink) to help customers identify the correct orientation when installing a processor into a socket. In this case, we suspect the forthcoming Xeon processors be LGA 3467 parts.