A number of weeks in the past I held a Raptor Lake wafer in my very own two fingers, nonetheless, it seemed completely nothing just like the Raptor Lake wafer simply noticed at Intel Innovation by Paul Alcorn for our sister site Tom’s {Hardware}. So what offers?

This new wafer reveals off a essentially totally different chip design to the ‘normal’ Raptor Lake-S wafers we have seen to date. Slightly than two rows of P-cores butting up towards 4 clusters of E-cores—for a most of 24 cores in whole, a la the Core i9 13900K—what we’re seeing on this unannounced wafer is an interconnected grid of what seems to be solely P-cores. 34 of them.

This type of die format is extra anticipated of Intel’s server-grade processors, beginning with these based mostly on the Skylake structure. It really works by growing interconnectivity by having extra cores related immediately to 1 one other, lowering the bottlenecks that would occur with excessive core rely chips on a hoop bus structure.

Intel had beforehand introduced these types of remixed server chips to the fanatic and workstation market underneath the X-series branding, although that every one stopped when desktop core counts skyrocketed. We have not seen an X-series processor since 2019, which was when Intel launched Cascade Lake, led by the 18-core Intel Core i9 10980XE.

It is attainable then that we will see a return of those types of high-end processors on the desktop. Alcorn says the workforce over at Intel Innovation, whereas initially uncertain of what the wafer was, did spot a sticker on the wafer that notes it as “Raptor Lake-S 34-core”. That is a bit shocking, because the Raptor Lake-S lineup is one and the identical with the desktop processors readying for launch subsequent month.

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Intel Raptor Lake wafer up-close

This can be a Raptor Lake-S 24-core die wafer. (Picture credit score: Future)
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Intel Raptor Lake wafer up-close

And here is the 24-core die up shut. (Picture credit score: Future)
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Intel Raptor Lake chip diagram

The 24-core die makes use of a well-recognized core format to earlier Intel desktop processors. (Picture credit score: Intel)
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Intel Mesh Architecture when it was first introduced with Skylake server chips

But the 34-core die seems to make use of a mesh structure. This is a diagram of Intel’s Mesh structure from when it was first launched with Skylake server chips. (Picture credit score: Intel)

The 34-core die seems considerably bigger than the 24-core Raptor Lake dies coming within the LGA 1700-sized package deal to desktop. So if these chips are meant for the desktop, it is unlikely that there is any type of improve path for 600- or 700-series motherboards already obtainable or introduced for Alder Lake and Raptor Lake.

It seems very doubtless {that a} 34-core Raptor Lake chip will now arrive in some type, in any case. I suppose it is attainable the label was incorrect, however that appears unlikely for such a good ship as Intel’s fab workforce.

Nonetheless, I think Intel would doubtless intention for the high-end workstation market fairly than goal fans with such a lineup of server-grade chips. Spoilsports. AMD does one thing related with its Threadripper processors, which have been as soon as fanatic chips however are actually wholly meant for highly effective, however fairly boring, workstations. I hate to confess that it makes some sense, as core counts have been as soon as fairly low on conventional desktop chips, however fans may pay via the tooth for extra cores in the event that they needed them. These days, desktop chips have 12/16/24 cores and the demand for larger core counts may have shifted to the way more prosumer varieties.

Nonetheless, it would be good to have the choice to go huge.