This week at Supercomputing, everyone is getting excited about next generation hardware, not only on x86 but also GPUs, POWER, Arm, FPGAs, and accelerators. The danger of having so many partners trying to get business for their products and discuss future generations of products is that not everything is qualified through the original manufacturers and leaks are made. This is one such leak.

Intel’s major OEM server providers and partners on the Supercomputing show floor were demonstrating their next generation products. Intel’s DC Optane memory is a big part of that for certain OEMs, and as a result they were keen to show the modules on the slow floor as well as the server racks and motherboard designs. While there were no Cascade Lake processors directly visible, which are required for Optane support, on the show floor, many companies were offering demonstrations of what they intend to offer. However, we found one that actually showed the expected timescale in what looks like a confidential presentation that was accidentally put on display. We snapped this photo near the end of the show, so I'm surprised it stayed up that long.

The key part of the image is the launch window, which states that all Cascade Lake-SP processors will be available between the end of Q1 through most of Q2. This is essentially a 'March to May' window, which verifies a similar report we had seen elsewhere. This is well beyond the 2018 time frame Intel announced at its DCI Summit earlier this year, however, it does look like Intel will at least ship for revenue in 2018 with the Early Shipment Program.

The Early Shipment program, using only the larger XCC 28-core models, are shipping from the middle of Q4 2018, which is effectively now. This includes the Intel DC Optane Memory shipping test systems with up to 512GB modules. The company had a full Cascade Lake system at the show filled with normal memory and 128GB Optane modules, albeit without CPUs. These early shipment systems are usually targeted to customers involved in Intel’s Early Sampling Program as well.

The ‘March to May’ window for the full launch as seen on the slide does throw up a few questions as to where Cooper Lake will land later in 2019 (or if it will just ship for revenue in 2019). The new Cascade Lake-SP processors will have additional hardening for architectural attacks such as L1TF and Meltdown Variant 3, although with Intel’s recent reports that it has an increased demand, it may end up being a tough time filling orders (despite selling everything that they make and making record revenues). There is no word on pricing at this time. Given Intel’s previous statements, we expect Cascade Lake-AP to also be launched in this window.

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  • HStewart - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    I am curious about desktop and especially mobile changes coming, is there a laptop version of Cascade Lake coming. It sounds to me that Intel has been seriously working on hardware fixes for security holes.

    Typically lately the server chips are later in designed except for stuff like AVX 512 - so even though Ice Lake for server is stated for 2020, it likely mobile Ice Lake could be 2019.. So there maybe no need for mobile Cascade Lake. There is not much on the future roadmap on this stuff - my guess Intel is keeping it under wrap for a surprise next year.
  • porcupineLTD - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    Yeah, let's not talk about how Intel is behind its own schedule.
  • HStewart - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    I would agree that security issues have plaque the computer industry and it good that Intel has made some hardware changes to help - but I more interesting in the primary computer industry which is laptops - what directions they are going.
  • sa666666 - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    Right, make sure you minimize mention and importance of the security issues, the area where arguably Intel has been the weakest in. Their chips are affected much more than those from other manufacturers. It's something they should be working on; much more important than the latest laptops.
  • HStewart - Saturday, November 17, 2018 - link

    Well what is important is that Intel is seriously working and corrected the security issues in this release.

    This seams realistic but unlike some rumors from a competitor especially the Smash Z, which is obviously 100% a fax have 7nm CPU in size of Switch. Just look it you want - I don't want to discuss competitor rumors in Intel related article.
  • Kevin G - Sunday, November 18, 2018 - link

    In server, security is an uncompromising cornerstone. Fixing Meltdown and Spectre for Cascade Lake was the correct choice.

    However, they were not the only platforms who suffered from this. Surprisingly some ARM core designs were affected by Meltdown for example.
  • porcupineLTD - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    Witch is beside the point of this article and that's my point.
  • HStewart - Saturday, November 17, 2018 - link

    No I think is very important that Intel is showing that they can overcome the security threats and even production issues to make difference in the project. But honestly, Has a single real Meltdown / Spectre happen in the field or is all theoretical
  • Rudde - Friday, November 16, 2018 - link

    Laptop has Whiskey Lake processors.
  • HStewart - Saturday, November 17, 2018 - link

    Whiskey Lake is currently out, which does have security fixes but I believe something in 2019 - maybe Ice Lake. But Intel will keep that secret until the time is right.

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