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Intel Announces New GPU Architecture and oneAPI for Unified Software Stack at SC19

At Supercomputing 2019, Intel unveiled its vision for extending its leadership in the convergence of high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) with new additions to its data-centric silicon portfolio and an ambitious new software initiative that represents a paradigm shift from today's single-architecture, single-vendor programming models.

Addressing the increasing use of heterogeneous architectures in high-performance computing, Intel expanded on its existing technology portfolio to move, store and process data more effectively by announcing a new category of discrete general-purpose GPUs optimized for AI and HPC convergence. Intel also launched the oneAPI industry initiative to deliver a unified and simplified programming model for application development across heterogenous processing architectures, including CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs and other accelerators. The launch of oneAPI represents millions of Intel engineering hours in software development and marks a game-changing evolution from today's limiting, proprietary programming approaches to an open standards-based model for cross-architecture developer engagement and innovation.

Intel Unveils World's Largest FPGA

Intel has today announced the Stratix 10 GX 10M - a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) built on 14 nm technology that has an astonishing 43.3 Billion transistors, making it the largest FPGA in the world, dethroning the Xilinx with their previously largest Virtex VU19P FPGA which had a "mere" 35 Billion transistors. The Stratix 10 GX 10M is a home to over 10.2 million logic cells housed inside two large dies, connected by Intel's own Embedded Multi-die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB).

The 10M model is packing four additional dies besides the two for logic, also connected by EMIB, that feature 48 transceivers in total which have a combined bandwidth of up to 4.5Tb/s. If you are wondering about the bandwidth between all dies, then judging by EMIB's 25,920 connections, there is 6.5 Tb/s of inner-die bandwidth, meaning that components will not be starving for additional speeds to transfer the data. Additionally there are 2,304 user I/O pins, allowing for some creative integration solutions that involve plenty of ports for development purposes.

Intel Ships First 10nm Agilex FPGAs

Intel today announced that it has begun shipments of the first Intel Agilex field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to early access program customers. Participants in the early access program include Colorado Engineering Inc., Mantaro Networks, Microsoft and Silicom. These customers are using Agilex FPGAs to develop advanced solutions for networking, 5G and accelerated data analytics.

"The Intel Agilex FPGA product family leverages the breadth of Intel innovation and technology leadership, including architecture, packaging, process technology, developer tools and a fast path to power reduction with eASIC technology. These unmatched assets enable new levels of heterogeneous computing, system integration and processor connectivity and will be the first 10nm FPGA to provide cache-coherent and low latency connectivity to Intel Xeon processors with the upcoming Compute Express Link," said Dan McNamara, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Networking and Custom Logic Group.

Intel Unveils New Tools in Its Advanced Chip Packaging Toolbox

What's New: This week at SEMICON West in San Francisco, Intel engineering leaders provided an update on Intel's advanced packaging capabilities and unveiled new building blocks, including innovative uses of EMIB and Foveros together and a new Omni-Directional Interconnect (ODI) technology. When combined with Intel's world-class process technologies, new packaging capabilities will unlock customer innovations and deliver the computing systems of tomorrow.

"Our vision is to develop leadership technology to connect chips and chiplets in a package to match the functionality of a monolithic system-on-chip. A heterogeneous approach gives our chip architects unprecedented flexibility to mix and match IP blocks and process technologies with various memory and I/O elements in new device form factors. Intel's vertically integrated structure provides an advantage in the era of heterogeneous integration, giving us an unmatched ability to co-optimize architecture, process and packaging to deliver leadership products." -Babak Sabi, Intel corporate vice president, Assembly and Test Technology Development.

Intel Switches Gears to 7nm Post 10nm, First Node Live in 2021

Intel's semiconductor manufacturing business has had a terrible past 5 years as it struggled to execute its 10 nanometer roadmap forcing the company's processor designers to re-hash the "Skylake" microarchitecture for 5 generations of Core processors, including the upcoming "Comet Lake." Its truly next-generation microarchitecture, codenamed "Ice Lake," which features a new CPU core design called "Sunny Cove," comes out toward the end of 2019, with desktop rollouts expected 2020. It turns out that the 10 nm process it's designed for, will have a rather short reign at Intel's fabs. Speaking at an investor's summit on Wednesday, Intel put out its silicon fabrication roadmap that sees an accelerated roll-out of Intel's own 7 nm process.

When it goes live and fit for mass production some time in 2021, Intel's 7 nm process will be a staggering 3 years behind TSMC, which fired up its 7 nm node in 2018. AMD is already mass-producing CPUs and GPUs on this node. Unlike TSMC, Intel will implement EUV (extreme ultraviolet) lithography straightaway. TSMC began 7 nm with DUV (deep ultraviolet) in 2018, and its EUV node went live in March. Samsung's 7 nm EUV node went up last October. Intel's roadmap doesn't show a leap from its current 10 nm node to 7 nm EUV, though. Intel will refine the 10 nm node to squeeze out energy-efficiency, with a refreshed 10 nm+ node that goes live some time in 2020.

NVIDIA to Launch Efficiency-Oriented GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q, Aims at Intel EMIB

NVIDIA through the changelog of one of its Linux driver releases may have spilled the beans in an as of yet unannounced, unreleased product. The company's Max-Q variants of their graphics cards typically trade performance for power efficiency, sitting the designs somewhat more optimally in the power/performance ratio curve. The fact that NVIDIA is looking to bolster efficiency of its GTX 1050 with a Max-Q design is likely aimed at competing with the performance level of the already announced Intel + AMD EMIB design, where an Intel discrete CPU is paired with a discrete, Vega-based AMD GPU and its accompanying HBM2 memory stacks, in a small, extremely power efficient package (when compared with current designs.)

The folks at Notebookcheck expect the 1050 Max-Q to perform about 10 to 15 percent slower than the standard 1050 and 1050 Ti, respectively, with TDP likely ranging between 34 W to 46 W - NVIDIA is aiming at the same market that the >AMD + Intel EMIB collaboration is going after (thin, light, adequate performance solutions.)

Intel's 10 nm Technology Bound for FPGAs First; Wafer Showcased

Intel is undoubtedly at the forefront of silicon processing technology these days, and has been for a long time. Being a fully integrated company from the bottom up, through the design and actual production of its silicon semiconductors, really does have a way of either paying of tremendously (as has been the case with Intel), or not at all (as was the case with AMD). That fabrication processes' nm ratings don't mean much in thhe industry right now has been the case for a while now; different companies use different calculations towards achieving a 22 nm or 14 nm claim, with some components in the same nm process having almost double the size of the same components in a competitor's equivalent. Intel has always been one of the more adamant defenders of an industry-wide categorization, both to avoid confusion and - naturally - put into perspective their process leadership.
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