Rivals with benefits — Intel and AMD collaborate to create a new entrant to the 8th generation CPU family
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Even the worst of rivalries can end in friendships. Intel's latest announcement just proves this point. After a number of rumors and subsequent denials, Intel's Vice President of Client Computing Group and General Manager of the Mobile Computing Platform, Christopher Walker, finally announced that Intel and AMD have collaborated together to create a new die design that combines an Intel H-series CPU and a custom-to-Intel AMD Radeon GPU along with High Bandwidth Memory 2 in a single package. This new design is facilitated by Intel's Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) technology that allows heterogeneous silicon to exchange data in extremely close proximity.
EMIB has been a traditionally server class FPGA technology and ever since the benefits of it were clear, there was always speculation as to how it can make its way to the consumer side of things. Intel's integrated graphics solutions, though good, are clearly not enough for handling escalating modern workloads combined with the necessity for a thin form factor. AMD's new Vega architecture has been successfully implemented in the new Ryzen Mobile CPUs so this unique combination could be a win-win situation for both the companies and customers.
Walker said the following about the new die —
The new product, which will be part of our 8th Gen Intel Core family, brings together our high-performing Intel Core H-series processor, second generation High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2) and a custom-to-Intel third-party discrete graphics chip from AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group* – all in a single processor package.
... Now, we’re opening the door for thinner, lighter devices across notebooks, 2 in 1s and mini desktops, while delivering incredible performance and graphics for enthusiasts.
Vice President and general manger for AMD Radeon Technologies Group, Scott Herkelman said,
Our collaboration with Intel expands the installed base for AMD Radeon GPUs and brings to market a differentiated solution for high-performance graphics. Together we are offering gamers and content creators the opportunity to have a thinner-and-lighter PC capable of delivering discrete performance-tier graphics experiences in AAA games and content creation applications.
Going by Walker's words, this new die design could be seen only in one CPU that would belong to the 8th generation H-series. There is still no information on what the exact specifications of the CPU would be or about the custom AMD GPU. That information can be expected in the days to come. What we do know, however, is that Intel is also introducing a new power-sharing framework with custom software drivers that coordinates between the CPU, semi-custom GPU, and the HBM2 memory. This power-sharing can be customized by system vendors to deliver solutions that scale according to workloads while enabling thinner and lighter chassis.
All in all, this is a welcome development on so many fronts. Although this unusual collaboration has captured everyone's attention, we were kind of expecting this for sometime. Rumors have been doing the rounds on the internet about a possible Intel-AMD collaboration since last year. With only one source to back it up and both Intel and AMD being tight-lipped, there was more than a pinch of salt to be taken back then. Now that, the deal is official, we cannot wait to see what OEMs will have in store for us in the months ahead.
So can we finally game and still have a decent amount of charge left for the day? Color us interested.