Hardware blogger YuuKi_AnS (opens in new tab) has published a picture of AMD's 96-core EPYC 9000-series processor marked with an actual model number rather than an 'engineering sample' label. The image may indicate that AMD has begun shipping at least some of its next-generation EPYC processors codenamed Genoa to partners, which means that their formal launch is looming.
The processor in question is AMD's EPYC 9654, featuring 96 cores, based on the Zen 4 microarchitecture, and carrying 384MB of L3 cache, as some previous leaks indicate (albeit they cover the model 9654P). But the key thing about the picture is that the CPU on its SP5 carrier frame sits on a tray pallet. Vendors usually utilize tray pallets to ship chips in volumes. By contrast, engineering samples arrive in special boxes, yet the case of EPYCs is still on a carrier frame.
AMD yet has to confirm that it had initiated commercial shipments of its EPYC 9000-series processors with Zen 4 cores to partners, but a tray pallet may be an indicator that at least some of AMD's partners are getting the new CPUs in volumes. Moreover, it makes Yuuki_AnS think that these CPUs might formally debut along with AMD's upcoming Ryzen 7000 processors based on the same microarchitecture this September.
While we do not know AMD's plans, we that the company would steal the thunder of a 96-core server part by formally unveiling it alongside its desktop part with up to 16 cores for gamers and enthusiasts.
These EPYC 9654 CPUs shipping on tray pallets might be of production quality and manufactured in volume. Still, AMD may not be inclined to reveal them before its partners among server makers are ready with actual machines. Meanwhile, some operators of hyperscale datacenters may still deploy new 96-core EPYCs ahead of other companies as they always want to take advantage of the latest and greatest technology.
While formally AMD's next-generation EPYC will land in the second half of 2022, at the most recent conference call with analysts and investors, AMD's chief executive Lisa Su indicated that these parts would ramp in Q4, which makes their formal introduction in September a bit premature.
"We see Genoa coming in towards the end of the year [and] into 2023," said the head of AMD (via SeekingAlpha (opens in new tab)). […] "We expect to ramp production [of Genoa] in the fourth quarter and then into the first half of next year.