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The new 144 core Xeon processor is aimed at data centers and is due to be available in the first half of 2024.

This week Intel announced the latest additions to its Xeon chip roadmap. On Wednesday, Intel’s Sandra Rivera, Greg Lavender and Lisa Spelman hosted a webinar focused on the company’s data center and artificial intelligence business unit, where they offered “a big update on Intel’s latest market forecasts, hardware plans and the way Intel is empowering developers with software”.

144 Core Sierra Forest spotlighted

A major highlight of the webinar was the news that the new Xeon processor code-named Sierra Forest, the first Efficient-core (E-core) Xeon processor, is on track for the first half of 2024. The company also confirmed that Sierra Forest will feature 144 cores per socket and will be the first CPU based on the upcoming Intel 3 process. According to the company, the new processor is on schedule, with the first samples already out the door.

Sierra Forest signals a shift for Intel that splits its data center product line into two branches, the E-Core and the P-Core (Performance Core), which is the traditional Xeon data center design that uses high-performance cores.

Sandra Rivera, Intel’s executive vice president and general manager of the data center and AI group, told investors that Sierra Forest’s 144 cores plays out Intel’s belief that x86 CPU revenue will follow core trends more closely than socket trends in the coming years. She said Intel sees a market opportunity of more than $110 billion (€102 billion) for its data center and AI silicon business by 2027.

E-Core successor to appear in 2025

Intel will continue to execute on its E-core roadmap with the follow-on to Sierra Forest, named Clearwater Forest. Speaking about the future chip publicly for the first time, the Intel execs said Clearwater Forest will be “coming to market in 2025”. The advanced processor will be manufactured on Intel 18A, the node where Intel says it plans to “achieve process leadership”. The chip, they say, represents the culmination of the company’s “five-nodes-in-four-years” strategy.