Tuesday, January 12th 2021

Intel Xe-HPG to be Built on TSMC N7: Report

Intel's first discrete gaming graphics card based on the Xe-HPG graphics architecture, will be built on a TSMC 7 nanometer silicon fabrication node, according to a Reuters report citing sources "familiar with the matter." The first such discrete GPU is being referred to internally by Intel as the DG2. Recent reports suggest that Intel will give the DG2 formidable specs, such as 4,096 unified shaders across 512 execution units, and 8 GB of GDDR6 video memory. Back in 2020, the company launched the DG1 under the Intel Iris Xe MAX marketing name, targeting only the mobile discrete GPU market. The DG1 has entry-level specs, with which Intel is eyeing the same pie as NVIDIA's fast-moving GeForce MX series mobile GPUs. Interestingly, the other major client of TSMC-N7 following Apple's transition to N5, is Intel's rival AMD.
Source: Reuters
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15 Comments on Intel Xe-HPG to be Built on TSMC N7: Report

#1
W1zzard
If you were TSMC, why would you give your only competitor on the planet access to your tech?
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#2
Fourstaff
W1zzard
If you were TSMC, why would you give your only competitor on the planet access to your tech?
Maybe they don't see Intel as a threat anymore
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#3
Vya Domus
W1zzard
If you were TSMC, why would you give your only competitor on the planet access to your tech?
I mean they give access to use the manufacturing process to build chips not to copy their IP.
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#4
theoneandonlymrk
I kinda hoped intel were going to pull a magic hat moment with Xe on 10nm.
Using Tsmc is unlikely to end up with us in a place where more GPU hit the market and pricing dips.
@Vya Domus surely even knowing the design principles used to successfully make Tsmc 7nm chip's can't hurt Intel's present attempts.
There are process insights to be found in how elements are formed even if you didn't know exactly how Tsmc form those elements procedurally.
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#5
TheinsanegamerN
Oh great, just what we need, MORE competition for limited 7nm production.
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#6
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Maybe Intel is trying to DDoS AMD. Place large orders for useless chips that you won't sell until 3-4 years later in a bargain sale to OEMs, and limit AMD's foundry allocation bargaining power. Right now AMD needs all the foundry alloc it can get to break into Intel's (and NVIDIA's) bottom-lines in a big way. Having competitive IP is no longer a problem for AMD.
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#7
JAKra
W1zzard
If you were TSMC, why would you give your only competitor on the planet access to your tech?
For a boatload of money. :)
They give N7 tech to intel in 2022, by that time TSMC will be on N3(?).
This way intel will not have a broken 7nm tech like they had on 10nm.
Imagine intel trying to fix their own 7nm for the next 5+ years...
Posted on Reply
#8
W1zzard
JAKra
Imagine intel trying to fix their own 7nm for the next 5+ years...
Exactly, everybody except Intel would prosper, and since TSMC would be the only player left, they'd make even more money?
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#9
kapone32
btarunr
Maybe Intel is trying to DDoS AMD. Place large orders for useless chips that you won't sell until 3-4 years later in a bargain sale to OEMs, and limit AMD's foundry allocation bargaining power. Right now AMD needs all the foundry alloc it can get to break into Intel's (and NVIDIA's) bottom-lines in a big way.
You may have pulled the rabbit out of the hat. Having said that I want to see what Dr Su has to say today.
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#10
Jomale
Intel seems to pay very good for this.
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#11
JAKra
W1zzard
Exactly, everybody except Intel would prosper, and since TSMC would be the only player left, they'd make even more money?
TSMC is running on full already and they are booked for years.
Without a new fab they can't print more money and new fabs are quite expensive.
This way TSMC will get easy money without a new fab and with a tech that is no longer competitive... with their N3 or newer tech.
Intel will be happy with a working 7nm tech and we know they have the money to spend. :)
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#12
mechtech
W1zzard
If you were TSMC, why would you give your only competitor on the planet access to your tech?
Isn’t Samsung a competitor to them and most other foundries?

The only reason would be $$$$$$.

:)

It’s intel trying to decrease the volume of its competitors products and delay them further by using up TSMC capacity.
Posted on Reply
#13
nguyen
JAKra
TSMC is running on full already and they are booked for years.
Without a new fab they can't print more money and new fabs are quite expensive.
This way TSMC will get easy money without a new fab and with a tech that is no longer competitive... with their N3 or newer tech.
Intel will be happy with a working 7nm tech and we know they have the money to spend. :)
Point here is TSMC fabs are all sold out regardless, why would TSMC risk leaking their tech to competitor for the same money they would get selling to other risk - free parties.
And if Intel can produce 7nm at much cheaper price than TSMC, other OEM might reconsider their expensive 3-5nm deals with TSMC (like Nvidia going with Samsung 8N).
Overall TSMC has nothing but risk working with Intel, or perhaps Intel made an offer TSMC can't refuse :laugh: .
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#14
Muser99
This will give Intel a big opportunity to see deeply into the TSMC node process. Surely, putting your own (Intel) micro-architecture design through another fab's (TSMC) process will yield a massive amount of useful information? Can Intel benefit its own 7nm fab challenges?
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#15
InVasMani
Money talks it could be as simple as that or perhaps Intel told TSMC either we sign a contract with you to produce chips for us or we sign a much larger long term contract with Samsung. It's anyone's guess how they came to a agreement.
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