Massive Intel "Arctic Sound" 500 W GPU with 3D-stacked quad-chip design spotted in leaked presentation slides
While AMD’s upcoming post-Navi GPU appears to be packing some impressive specs, Intel too is gearing up to deliver serious competition on the server / deep learning side of things. These GPUs are usually beefier than the gaming GPUs we are used to seeing, as they are meant to replace server-based CPUs altogether. However, Intel’s upcoming Xe MP compute cards codenamed “Arctic Sound” seem to be in a class of their own if we are to believe the leaked presentation slides coming from DigitalTrends. 400-500 W TDPs and 3D-stacked 4-tile processors? Looks like Intel is trying to channel some of that Voodoo5 quad-GPU energy from 20 years ago.
Instead of cramming four GPUs on one board, Intel is looking to stack the GPU chips on top of each other via their 3D Foveros technology. This would indeed save some space, but the TDP should also quadruple, so the 500 W and 48 V specs might not be that far-fetched after all. Admittedly, the slide actually mentions a 400-500 W range, meaning that the final numbers may end up closer to 400 W. Moreover, it is not yet clear if all the tiles are the same size. We could be seeing four identical DG1 tiles, amounting to 4096 execution units, or we could see various sizes for a significantly lower EU count. The slide also shows cards with 2 tiles that have 300 W TDPs and 1-tile cards with 75 W and 150 W TDPs.
All the Intel Arctic Sound GPUs will be compatible with the PCIe 4.0 standard, but the slides mention that the cards will feature custom connectors, since PCIe 4.0 is limited to 300W TDPs. Notice that there are standard PCIe 4.0 variants for all multi-chip models, as well. No info on actual memory capacities, still Intel mentions that it is going to use HBM2e chips in 2.8 Gb packages.
AMD and Nvidia are currently trying to move away from SLI / Crossfire setups, yet they might be forced to think of some other way to bring multi-GPU setups back, as Intel looks to be ready to up the ante with 3D-stacked chips for the gaming industry.