Intel Architecture Day saw a lot of details revealed by Intel. One of the main takeaways from the showcase being their GPU strategy moving forward. The company showed that the four Xe GPU tiers will have different future strategies. However, immediate comments on consistent cadence were not made during the presentation. Having said that, they were later confirmed in question and answer sessions following that.
Intel declares launch date of the Sapphire Rapids CPU
The company confirmed launching the Sapphire Rapids CPU in 2021. It is hailed as the next-generation data center chip along with adding CXL 1.1 interconnect. They also stated that the Tiger Lake and SG along with the DG1 will all be made through an in house process. That process being the Intel 10nm SuperFin.
However, the arriving Intel Xe HPG GPU will be created through external foundry processes. The Xe HP and the major GPU both come with 4 tiles and over 16000 cores. They are going to be created through a major SuperFin process. The process hasn’t been revealed through name yet. However, the process has begun to be utilized.
There were some other interesting revelations as well. The company stated that a mixed product has already been created and shipped. The mixed product comes with both external and Intel made foundries. Both being utilized in the Kaby Lake G CPU. The CPU was made by Intel itself.
However, the GPU was AMD created and made externally. The chips were still packaged with Intel made technology and the process of shipping to customers was extremely smooth. The statement to be made was that Intel’s confidence in their way forward seems to come from the fact that they have already tested it and received majorly positive results.
Information regarding Sapphire Rapids withheld
The company did not share any details regarding the process that the Sapphire Rapids will undergo. However, it seems safe to assume that the 10nm SuperFin Enhanced Process is probably the most likely candidate. This is similar to Tiger Lake. It’s also is based on the same process. The results of the Tiger Lake warrant a lot of confidence in the Sapphire Rapids due to being based on either a similar or slightly advanced and already proven to work process.
Shipping details were also shared. A more advanced 144 layer QLC would be shipping which is much higher than the industry average. It also provides over half the density increase compared to the third generation QLC. That one was produced through Intel. Their efforts to unify data centers seem to be guiding their efforts. It appears the Intel-based platform is going to be competing against AMD and its Zen 4 based lineup.
AMD responds to Intel
AMD similarly promised newer memory integration. They also promised that its Genoa lineup will be supporting the DDR5 memory and other processing aspects. While integrating itself with the Sapphire Rapids and a larger technological system being based on Intel the increase in core output justifies transitioning to AMD. The reason being mono thread performance. It simply does not seem to be enough.
The Alder Lake Xe GPUs are also going to feature hybrid technology. It will be presented with the Golden Cove cores. Those are expected to succeed in the current microsystems that Tiger Lake is based on. This should provide better performances and speeds.
I believe that moving forward the answers that Intel provided keep the future looking bright for gamers. They seem to be getting closer to obtaining a completely Intel made GPU as early as 2021.
The Alder Lake is set to be presented with both big and small cores. Likewise, Intel seems ready to take control of the mobility-based market. This would help streamline efforts such as reducing standby power by over 90 percent. It could help improve battery life while maintaining performance.