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Intel "Cannon Lake" Could Bring AVX-512 Instruction-set to the Mainstream

btarunr

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Intel's next-generation "Cannon Lake" CPU micro-architecture could see the introduction of the AVX-512 instruction-set to the mainstream segments (MSDT or mainstream-desktop, and mobile). It is currently available on the company's Core X "Skylake-X" HEDT processors, and on the company's Xeon "Skylake-W," Xeon Scalable "Skylake-SP," and in a limited form on the Xeon Phi Knights Landing and Knights Mill scalar compute chips.

The upcoming "Cannon Lake" mainstream silicon will feature AVX512F, AVX512CD, AVX512DQ, AVX512BW, and AVX512VL instructions, and will support AVX512_IFMA and AVX512_VBMI commands, making it a slightly broader implementation of AVX-512 than the "Skylake-SP" silicon. The new AVX-512 will vastly improve performance of compute-intensive applications that take advantage of it. It will also be a key component of future security standards.



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2901BitSlice

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The more salient question is WHEN will Cannon Lake bring us the AVX512 Instruction Set ?
 
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From an architectural perspective, that makes pretty much sense. A skylake(client) core has two 256-bits FMA units (on port0 and port1), which can be fused into one 512-bits FMA unit, as they have already done with Skylake server variant (one of two 512-bits FMAs is fused from 2*256 in original client core variant, and another 512 is implemented by attaching an additional AVX section to the core).

But the problem is, if they have already implemented this on Skylake-SP, why not coffee lake or even kaby lake? And why did they change their mind with Cannonlake? From a timeline perspective, doubtful.
 
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AVX512 - where either the vector unit runs, or your CPU runs (as thermally, the vector unit throttles the shit out of the CPU).

Intel needs to solve that before I'll get excited about AVX512 (as lets be honest, its only generally useful for the 1% of stuff I can't send to the GPU in the first place).
 
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I've been hearing about avx since haswell, could someone explain it to a simpleton ?
 
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I've been hearing about avx since haswell, could someone explain it to a simpleton ?
Additional set of instructions/operations that processor can perform, also with larger numbers. There are additional bonuses, like being way more efficient when doing the exact same operation on a number of operands.
While the main x86 operations work with 64-bit numbers, SSE does 128-bit, AVX does 256-bit and AVS-512 does 512-bit numbers. This increases both range for integer calculations and precision for floating point calculations.
Usefulness of these extensions relies heavily on both compilers and software being aware of these and using these. On the other hand, these operations are useful for some types of software (productivity software usually, lots of calculations, especially requiring high precision) and less useful for others.

SSE is from Pentium 3 era.
AVX has been there since Sandy Bridge (and Bulldozer).
AVX2 since Haswell (and Excavator).

Wiki is actually pretty good on the topic:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Vector_Extensions
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streaming_SIMD_Extensions
 
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what software can benefit from avx ? rendering ? games ? or just number crunching ?
 
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what software can benefit from avx ? rendering ? games ? or just number crunching ?
Good candidate is anything that does parallelization or vectorization, basically running same operations on a lot of data. Image or video processing (Adobe stuff), encoding/decoding (ffmpeg), compression (7zip, WinRAR) plus obviously anything that does a lot of math (Excel).
 
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So, in a nutshell, don't buy Kaby Lake now, wait for Cannon Lake next year...
It's supposed to be on track for release later this year, proper paper launch it ought to be. Though CNL is not going to be in Intel's full product stack i.e. desktop, server et al, only a handful of low power chips.
 
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What makes it a paper launch?
If I look at local shops, I could go and buy i7 8700 or i5 8400 right now for what seem to be MSRP prices. i7 8700K is not in stock but that is not very surprising.
 
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So, it's like GeForce GTX 750 and Radeon R9 285. A forgettable chip with all the latest tech not seen even in their most expensive top of the line products. Well, that's garbage then. Don't buy either and wait 2 more years then for it to get into the "mainstream". I see it as important enough to be worthy waiting unless you have a really prehistoric system that needs replacing like NOW.
 

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what software can benefit from avx ? rendering ? games ? or just number crunching ?
It's primarily about number crunching. But if you use that number crunching to improve AI (for example), this can also mean more challenging/fun games.
 
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Good candidate is anything that does parallelization or vectorization, basically running same operations on a lot of data. Image or video processing (Adobe stuff), encoding/decoding (ffmpeg), compression (7zip, WinRAR) plus obviously anything that does a lot of math (Excel).
Also going to add- emulation. Emulating more complex game consoles depends on high FPU calculations. PCSX2 got a nice boost from AVX.

Things like AVX-512 will probably be a near requirement for x360/PS3 emulation, if we ever get there.
 
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AVX512 - where either the vector unit runs, or your CPU runs (as thermally, the vector unit throttles the shit out of the CPU).
Sure, the CPU clocks down when running AVX instructions, but the efficiency gains of AVX is so massive it will still outperform pure ALU/FPU operations by a large factor.

Intel needs to solve that before I'll get excited about AVX512 (as lets be honest, its only generally useful for the 1% of stuff I can't send to the GPU in the first place).
AVX-512 is massive, it can't reach high clocks.
The real problem is it will take years before consumer software will utilize it.
As with other CPU instructions the software has to be compiled to use this feature. In some cases compilers can automatically vectorize certain structures (requires compiler flags), but usually the programmer has to apply specific intrinsics, which basically are macros mapping almost directly to assembly.

I've been hearing about avx since haswell, could someone explain it to a simpleton ?
A vector unit is able to process multiple pieces of data at once, e.g. a AVX-512 unit can process up to 1x512-bit, 2x256-bit, 4x128-bit, 8x64-bit, 16x32-bit, etc. operations per clock. Each CPU core may contain multiple AVX and FMA units on different execution ports, some only do e.g. multiplication.

So, in a nutshell, don't buy Kaby Lake now, wait for Cannon Lake next year...
If you need AVX-512…
Also, Ice Lake will be the next desktop archtecture.
 
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I bet Celeron and Pentium won't get it as always.
 
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Did someone say Intel will do a paper launch of the next generation of CPUs this year? Coffee Lake has JUST been released.
 

2901BitSlice

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Here is a screen shot of a leaked table of potential Intel CPUs. This came out of China and there are spelling errors. 'cores/treads' the H got lost.

upload_2017-10-20_14-39-9.png
 
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So, in a nutshell, don't buy Kaby Lake now, wait for Cannon Lake next year...
That's what I'm keep saying. Especially that we'll get 8 Cores and another new Mobo...
 
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