Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Sunday March 31 2019, @10:18PM   Printer-friendly
from the never-mind-Moore's-law-what-about-Amdahl's-law? dept.

Intel has teased* plans to return to the discrete graphics market in 2020. Now, some of those plans have leaked. Intel's Xe branded GPUs will apparently use an architecture capable of scaling to "any number" of GPUs that are connected by a multi-chip module (MCM). The "e" in Xe is meant to represent the number of GPU dies, with one of the first products being called X2/X2:

Developers won't need to worry about optimizing their code for multi-GPU, the OneAPI will take care of all that. This will also allow the company to beat the foundry's usual lithographic limit of dies that is currently in the range of ~800mm2. Why have one 800mm2 die when you can have two 600mm2 dies (the lower the size of the die, the higher the yield) or four 400mm2 ones? Armed with One API and the Xe macroarchitecture Intel plans to ramp all the way up to Octa GPUs by 2024. From this roadmap, it seems like the first Xe class of GPUs will be X2.

The tentative timeline for the first X2 class of GPUs was also revealed: June 31st, 2020. This will be followed by the X4 class sometime in 2021. It looks like Intel plans to add two more cores [dies] every year so we should have the X8 class by 2024. Assuming Intel has the scaling solution down pat, it should actually be very easy to scale these up. The only concern here would be the packaging yield – which Intel should be more than capable of handling and binning should take care of any wastage issues quite easily. Neither NVIDIA nor AMD have yet gone down the MCM path and if Intel can truly deliver on this design then the sky's the limit.

AMD has made extensive use of MCMs in its Zen CPUs, but will reportedly not use an MCM-based design for its upcoming Navi GPUs. Nvidia has published research into MCM GPUs but has yet to introduce products using such a design.

Intel will use an MCM for its upcoming 48-core "Cascade Lake" Xeon CPUs. They are also planning on using "chiplets" in other CPUs and mixing big and small CPU cores and/or cores made on different process nodes.

*Previously: Intel Planning a Return to the Discrete GPU Market, Nvidia CEO Responds
Intel Discrete GPU Planned to be Released in 2020
Intel Announces "Sunny Cove", Gen11 Graphics, Discrete Graphics Brand Name, 3D Packaging, and More

Related: Intel Integrates LTE Modem Into Custom Multi-Chip Module for New HP Laptop
Intel Promises "10nm" Chips by the End of 2019, and More

Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday April 01 2019, @12:47AM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday April 01 2019, @12:47AM (#822907) Journal

    They are comparing large GPU to smaller GPU, not Qualcomm SoC to whatever. From a linked older article: []

    NVIDIA currently has the two fastest GPU accelerators for the compute market, the last years Tesla P100 that is based on Pascal and this years Tesla V100 that is based on Volta. There’s one thing in common about both chips, they are as big as a chip can get on their particular process node. The Pascal GP100 GPU measured at a die size of 610mm2 while the Volta V100 GPU, even being based on a 12nm process from TSMC is 33.1% larger at 815mm2. NVIDIA’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang revealed at GTC that this is the practical limits of what’s possible with today’s physics and they cannot make a chip as dense or as big as GV100 today.

    Here's the Zen 2 chiplet + I/O die (estimated sizes): []

    Doing some measurements on our imagery of the processor, and knowing that an AM4 processor is 40mm [per side] square, we measure the chiplet to be 10.53 x 7.67 mm = 80.80 mm2, whereas the IO die is 13.16mm x 9.32 mm = 122.63 mm2.

    So for a 64-core Epyc, there should be 8 of the chiplets and an I/O die (larger size version I think). CPUs tend to be much smaller than GPUs.

    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2