A mysterious wafer filled with Intel Raptor Lake-S processors was spotted during Intel Innovation 2022. While that in itself may not sound strange, the strange part is that the wafer contains 34-core chips that are labeled as Raptor Lakewhile Intel’s new flagship Core i9-13900K tops out at 24 cores.
Is Intel hiding an even more powerful processor? That would be nice, but all signs point to it being something else entirely: a Sapphire Rapids chip.
For starters, the cores are not lined up horizontally in two rows as is typical for a Raptor Lake die. The cores of this chip are also interconnected with a mesh, which resembles the look of an Intel Ice Lake server processor. Lastly, there are a total of eight DDR5 memory controllers, as well as Intel Ultra Path Interconnect (UPI) blocks. This, again, is not something you’d find on a consumer desktop CPU.
As mentioned above, the die is most likely too large to fit into a typical desktop CPU with the LGA 1700 socket. It contains 34 core areas, and these all appear to be performance (P) cores rather than a mix of P cores and efficiency cores (E). A processor with 34 P cores is hard to imagine; even the new flagship Core i9-13900K only has eight P cores and 16 E cores.
While this wafer will most likely not be a Raptor Lake model, that’s not to say that Intel won’t release a more powerful version of the desktop chip at some point. We’ve seen it happen with the Core i9-12900KS. However, it is highly unlikely that the core hit will be as high as reaching 34 cores.