Friday, August 20th 2021

Intel Xe HPC Architecture Detailed, Has Dual-Use as Compute and Cloud-Gaming Accelerator

Intel's Xe HPC (high performance compute) architecture powers the company's most powerful vector compute device to date, codenamed "Ponte Vecchio." The processor is designed for massive HPC and AI compute applications, but also features raster graphics and real-time raytracing hardware, giving it a dual-use as a cloud gaming GPU. Our Xe HPG architecture article covers the basics of how Intel is laying its client discrete GPUs out. The Xe HPC architecture both scales-up and scales-out from that. The Xe-core, the basic indivisible sub-unit, of the Xe HPC architecture is different from that of Xe HPG. While Xe HPG cores contain sixteen 256-bit vector engines alongside sixteen 1024-bit matrix engines; the Xe HPC cores features eight 512-bit vector engines, besides eight 4096-bit matrix engines. It also features higher load/store throughput, and a larger 512 KB L1 cache.
The Xe HPC core vector unit is designed for full FP64 performance, of 256 ops per clock, which is identical to its FP32 throughput. It also offers 512 ops/clock FP16. The matrix unit, on the other hand, packs a punch—2,048 TF32 ops/cycle, up to 4,096 FP16 and BFloat16 ops/cycle, and 8,192 INT8 ops/cycle. Things get interesting as we scale up from here. The Xe HPC Slice is a grouping of 16 Xe HPC cores, along with 16 dedicated Raytracing Units that are just as capable as the ones on the Xe HPG (calculating ray traversal, bounding box intersection, and triangle intersection). The Xe HPC Slice cumulatively has 8 MB of L1 cache on its own.
A Xe HPC compute tile, or Xe HPC Stack, contains four such Xe HPC Slices, 64 Xe HPC cores, 64 Raytracing Units, 4 hardware contexts, sharing a large 144 MB L2 cache. The uncore components include a PCI-Express 5.0 x16 interface, a 4096-bit wide HBM2E memory interface, a media-acceleration engine with fixed-function hardware to accelerate decode (and possibly encode) of popular video formats, and Xe Link, an interconnect designed to interface with up to 8 other Xe HPC dual-stacks, for a total of up to 16 stacks. Each dual-stack uses a low-latency stack-to-stack interconnect. A dual-stack hence ends up to 128 Xe HPC cores, 128 Raytracing Units, two media engines, and an 8192-bit wide HBM2E interface. The dual-stack is a relevant grouping here, as the "Ponte Vecchio" processor features two compute tiles (two Xe HPG Stacks), and eight HBM2E memory stacks.
It's important to note here, that the Xe HPC Slices sit in specialized dies called compute tiles that are fabricated TSMC's 5 nm N5 node, whie the rest of the hardware sits on a base die that's built on the Intel 7 node (10 nm Enhanced SuperFin). The two dies are Foveros-stacked with 36-micron bumps. The Xe Link tile is a separate piece of silicon dedicated for networking with neighboring packages. This die is built on TSMC 7 nm node, and consists mainly of SerDes (serializer-deserializer) components.
Each "Ponte Vecchio" OAM with two Xe HPC stacks (one MCM) a combined memory bandwidth of over 5 TB/s, and Xe Link connectivity bandwidth of over 2 TB/s. A "Ponte Vecchio" x4 Subsystem holds four such OAMs, and is designed for a 1U node with two Xeon "Sapphire Rapids" processors. The four "Ponte Vecchio" and two "Sapphire Rapids" packages are each liquid-cooled. Hardware is only part of the story, Intel is investing considerably on OneAPI, a collective programming environment for both the CPU and GPU.
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13 Comments on Intel Xe HPC Architecture Detailed, Has Dual-Use as Compute and Cloud-Gaming Accelerator

#1
ZoneDymo
honestly if Intel does not deliver after spending this much time and effort and money on marketing (hype machine) then.....idk man could you ever believe them about anything anymore?
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#2
Vya Domus
These are going to be ludicrously expensive, even for Intel.
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#3
prtskg
Are we having an Intel spam festival celebrating slides?
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#4
Tigger
I'm the only one
ZoneDymohonestly if Intel does not deliver after spending this much time and effort and money on marketing (hype machine) then.....idk man could you ever believe them about anything anymore?
And if they do deliver, boy will some people on here have to eat their words with relish
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#5
ZoneDymo
Gruffalo.SoldierAnd if they do deliver, boy will some people on here have to eat their words with relish
Not sure which words you are specifically refering to, most comments here are about being sick of "leaks" and "teases" all meant to fuel some hypemachine, they just want to see some actual product and what it actually can do.
Nothing that I can see about expecting this to be good or not.
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#6
Tigger
I'm the only one
ZoneDymoNot sure which words you are specifically refering to, most comments here are about being sick of "leaks" and "teases" all meant to fuel some hypemachine, they just want to see some actual product and what it actually can do.
Nothing that I can see about expecting this to be good or not.
The usual jibes at Intel. Mebbe we should wait to see what these new GPU's are like before judging
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#7
Richards
It beats nvidia's a100 massively.. how are nvidia gonna respond to this.. this high level engineering from intel combining different process nodes ✔️
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#8
Pinktulips7
AMD FANBOYS/GIRLS BETTER RUN!!! TIME IS UP....intel will destroy AMD and NVIDEA OUT OF THE WATER......

DUDE YOU ARE FULL SHI$
ZoneDymohonestly if Intel does not deliver after spending this much time and effort and money on marketing (hype machine) then.....idk man could you ever believe them about anything anymore?
You are full of Cra$
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#9
Punkenjoy
I would be so hyped by a GPU make in Intel Fabs that could compete with current lineup. Even if it's not against the top end GPU and had bad power consumption. It would just bring in the markets tons of FAB capacity and could maybe satisfy the demand and really challenge quickly AMD and Nvidia.

But with GPU fabricated at TSMC, i am Meh. Well it's good to have a third vendor, but they will all end up competing to buy the same fab capacity and in the end, it's the customer that will pay the bill...
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#10
v12dock
Block Caption of Rainey Street
This sure sounds a lot like the brainchild of Raja... Vega.
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#11
z1n0x
Pinktulips7AMD FANBOYS/GIRLS BETTER RUN!!! TIME IS UP....intel will destroy AMD and NVIDEA OUT OF THE WATER......

DUDE YOU ARE FULL SHI$


You are full of Cra$
QFP. This is just too good.
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#12
medi01
On a serious note, I never understood what's so cool about a100.

When it's about very well planned massive number crunching, isn't it, cough, straighforward (by the respective industry's standards :)) to implement?
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#13
ratirt
I'm sure Intel will deliver something it is just hard to guess what exactly that would be at this point. Another player in the gaming market is welcome.
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