Intel's plan to stack an Arc GPU on its Meteor Lake CPUs will form 'a new class

2 months 4 weeks ago #29535639 by henndrona
Intel has some absolutely wild plans for upcoming processor graphics, and it's all kicking off with Meteor Lake in 2023. Intel plans to stack some of its Arc graphics on top of the CPU and SoC components, which it says will convey discrete graphics performance with something more of what we'd expect from today's integrated graphics in productivity.

"Meteor Lake is a brand new architecture that will enable tiled GPUs to be integrated on a 3D package. This is super exciting as this allows us to offer discrete graphics-class performance with the productivity of integrated graphics," says Raja Koduri, Intel boss architect, during the company's latest investor briefing. (On the off chance that you don't know what a tiled GPU is, don't stress we explain a bit below).

It appears as though Meteor Lake will integrate 2nd gen Arc graphics, called Battlemage. That's not noted explicitly, but from the diagram below it seems that Intel's graphics generations will be in lock-step with CPU generations.

What we know so far is that Intel plans to launch Meteor Lake around 2023, as we have Intel Raptor Lake processors (based on Alder Lake) set to arrive before then. There will also be another generation following that, assumedly sharing the same architecture but with some improvements, called Arrow Lake.

We have heard of Meteor Lake's chiplets preceding this, though. Intel had released a diagram showing its three-tile architecture (Compute, SoC, and GPU), though later pictures snapped by a CNET reporter showed another fourth chiplet on the package. It's early days, so we'll see where that goes, but it'll be exciting to see how this 3D packaged Arc GPU factors in.

Intel is using Foveros stacking technology to achieve all of this, and its EMIB interconnect too, a fancy term for a high velocity connection between the different parts of a mind boggling chip. The key for graphics, though, is that Arc GPUs use what Intel calls "tiles." These tiles, essentially discrete GPUs that can combine to make one larger chip, are supposed to offer Intel the ability to scale up and down its GPU component as it requires, and it looks like it plans to do just that with its Meteor Lake chips.

Though they're not quite ready right now, or indeed anytime this year. "We'll talk more about this in the future," Koduri says.

Koduri also momentarily teases what's coming next after Meteor Lake and Arrow Lake. It doesn't have a name, but it's touted with a similar make-up to Meteor Lake/Arrow Lake though with a new Deep Link architecture and what's probable 3rd gen Intel Arc graphics.

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