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Motherboard Diagram Points to PCIe 4.0 Support for Intel's Whitley Server Platform

Supermicro X12DPi-N (Image credit: momomo_us / Twitter)

A famed hardware leaker known as @momomo_us on Twitter tweeted a diagram of what appears to be Supermicro's upcoming X12DPi-N motherboard as well as some interesting benchmark results of an unidentified 14-core, 28-thread Intel processor.

Intel's upcoming Whitley server platform for Cooper Lake-SP and, subsequently, Ice Lake-SP processors has been rumored to support the PCIe 4.0 interface for a while now.  

AMD has already adopted the PCIe 4.0 on its consumer Ryzen processors, so Intel is already late to the game. At this rate, it's hard to tell if PCIe 4.0 will arrive on an Intel consumer or server platform first. 

The motherboard diagram also shows the LGA4189 CPU socket, which TE Connectivity designs and produces for Intel. There are two variants to the LGA4189 socket, but we can't tell which version the X12DPi-N motherboard is using.

(Image credit: SiSoftware)

With two sockets, the Supermicro X12DPi-N was shown with a pair of mysterious Intel processors with 14 cores, 28 threads, 17.5MB of L2 cache and 21MB of L3 cache. The chip seemingly has a clock speed of 3 GHz and was working in tandem with 256GB of DDR4-3200 Micron-branded RAM.

It's uncertain if the 14-core chip belongs to the Cooper Lake-SP or Ice Lake-SP family (both support the LGA4189 socket). 

However, the L2 cache could be the key to solving the mystery. The processor seemingly sports 1.25MB per core, which doesn't match any configuration that we know (Skylake-SP and Cascade-SP Lake feature 1MB per core). Since Cooper Lake-SP is practically placeholder until Ice Lake-SP arrives, the chips will likely maintain the same L2 cache design. 

With the shift from Skylake to Ice Lake (14nm to 10nm), Intel increased the L2 cache from 256KB per core to 512KB per core. Now that the enterprise side is making this same 14nm to 10nm transition, there's a chance that Intel could upgrade the L2 again. Assuming the Cooper Lake-SP sticks to 1MB per core, then Ice Lake-SP arriving with 1.25MB per core seems possible. So if we had to guess, we'd say the 14-core, 28-thread chip is probably from the Ice Lake-SP family.