For the first time, Intel is all set to launch its own dedicated graphics cards. These cards are based on their new Xe-HPG GPU and will launch sometime in 2021. Intel plans to launch a diverse lineup of graphics cards for gaming to compete with offerings from NVIDIA and AMD.
We already know that Xe-LP and Xe-HP GPUs are based on Intel’s 10nm SuperFin silicon node. However, the Xe-HPG GPUs will use a third party node from some other factory. The top candidate for this product right now is the Taiwanese company TMSC.
Recent rumors from the Taiwanese company suggest that TSMC is pretty sure that they’ll land orders for the next-generation Xe-HPG GPUs from intel. The report comes from IThome (via @harukaze5719), which says that the Xe-HPG GPUs from Intel will be produced at TSMC. TSMC will use their top of the line fabrication process for these chips.
Making them the best performers consumers are yet to see. The report also says that the TSMC sources claim that Intel is looking to make a deal for TSMC’s 6nm process to be used. If that is actually true, we can expect that these GPUs will give a fair fight to AMD’s RDNA 2 and NVIDIA’s Ampere GPU lineup once they hit stores next year.
TSMC launched its 6nm process node last year with its future roadmap. The company calls this process ‘N6’. It uses the newest and advanced version of EUV lithography technology. The N6 offers 18% percent more logic density over the previous N7 (7nm Node) from TSMC.
It is also compatible with 7nm designs from companies, and TSMC says it will reduce the time it takes from final design to actual products in the market.
Xe-XPG GPU Details:
As far as we currently know, the Xe-HPG or the gaming side of GPUs from Intel will use a standard package design by TSMC, which is easier to produce by the fab. Hence these products will get a faster production rate and might come early. On the other hand, the high-performance or datacentre variants, the HPC chips, will use some of the more complicated fabrication methods. They will most likely use some of the packaging technologies from Intel like EMIB, CO-EMIB, and FOVEROS.
If it is isn’t clear, yet the gaming series cards from Intel will use Xe-HPG GPU chip. This is a dedicated specific chip category that Intel has developed. Performance-wise it falls somewhere between Xe-LP and Xe-HP, which means there is an adequate punch for gaming packed into it. In addition, the Xe-HPG will use a single tile, and assuming that a single tile consists of 512 EUs, we can expect up to 4096 cores on the flagship chip.
Intel has already talked about their Ponte Vecchio chips, which we covered in our previous articles. Intel is planning a multi-chip module design for these products. Multiple chips, each consisting of several Xe GPU tiles, will be connected to make one extremely high-performance unit. The current benchmarks, as well as estimated core counts and TFLOPs, are also pretty amazing. The following are some of the expected products from Intel.
- Xe HP (12.5) 4-Tile GPU: 2048 EUs [Est: 16,384 Cores, 42.3 TFLOPs 1.3 GHz, 400W/500W]
- Xe HP (12.5) 2-Tile GPU: 1024 EUs [Est: 8192 Cores, 21.2 1.3 GHz, TFLOPs, 300W]
- Xe HP (12.5) 1-Tile GPU: 512 EU [Est: 4096 Cores, 10.6 TFLOPs 1.3 GHz, 150W]
These are rumored specs because Intel has not disclosed a single detail about the GPUs yet. They might even go higher than these specifications on release. In terms of dedicated gaming features, we are looking at hardware-accelerated ray tracing and feature GDDR6 memory in the Intel Xe-HPG powered graphics cards.
These cards will surely provide good value and performance to the consumer. On paper, these next-generation cards surely look a lot interesting. We’ll keep on sharing more details once they come out in the next couple of months before the release.