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Rivals with benefits — Intel and AMD collaborate to create a new entrant to the 8th generation CPU family

Intel's latest 8th generation entrant courts a custom AMD Radeon chip and HBM2 memory on a single package. (Source: Intel)
Intel's latest 8th generation entrant courts a custom AMD Radeon chip and HBM2 memory on a single package. (Source: Intel)
In an interesting development, CPU arch rivals Intel and AMD have collaborated together to create a unique new entrant to Intel's 8th generation CPU family — a combination of an Intel H-series chip coupled to a...wait for it...a custom AMD Radeon GPU with HBM2 memory!

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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.

Comparison between separate CPU, GPU, and memory components versus Intel's new packaging in terms of board size. (Source: Intel)
Comparison between separate CPU, GPU, and memory components versus Intel's new packaging in terms of board size. (Source: Intel)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 11 > Rivals with benefits — Intel and AMD collaborate to create a new entrant to the 8th generation CPU family
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2017-11- 7 (Update: 2017-11- 7)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.