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Intel’s powerful 288-core CPU has been branded with the family names Granite Rapids and Sierra Forest as part of the Xeon 6 processor lineup. However, some may find the naming conventions to be overly complex.

Intel has now rebranded its Xeon family of processors, replacing the “Xeon Scalable” name, which first hit the market in 2017 with the Xeon Platinum 8100 series, with “Xeon 6.” This new brand will include the all-efficiency (E) Sierra Forest chip and the performance (P) Granite Rapid one.

Amplify performance signals

In September 2023, Intel unveiled its 288-core Xeon CPU and, at the end of February 2024, began previewing it for the AI processing industry. Given the codename “Sierra Forest”, that chip will be available in the second half of this year, while customers will have to wait until next year to get their hands on its more powerful “Granite Rapids” sibling.

The Sierra Forest data center chip is the first with an architecture comprised entirely of efficiency cores (E-cores), designed to deliver boost performance of 5G workloads by 2.7 times per rack, according to Intel. When it arrives, Granite Rapids (with P-cores) will build upon the doubled vRAN workload processing capacity offered by Sapphire Rapids and increase performance even further via Intel AVX and vRAN Boost.

Both Granite Rapids and Sierra Forest variants share the same platform (including the chiplet-based design, sockets. memory, and firmware) and thus will use the shared Xeon 6 nomenclature, a move which Intel hopes will make everything clearer for customers.

The company says the “evolved” Xeon 6 branding will “tell a united Intel Xeon story,” “Ease customer navigation,” and “Amplify performance signals”.

Intel’s existing “Emerald Rapids” 5th-Gen Xeon Scalable Processor models won’t see a rebrand. It has been said with the current-gen Xeon product stack that Intel’s branding can be “more than a little confusing”, and the company obviously feels it’s best to start afresh with the new Xeon 6 brand and focus on making things simpler going forward.

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