Now we know why Intel outsourced the manufacturing of its ARC GPU chips to TSMC

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Intel’s upcoming ARC Alchemist GPU line-up is the recent hot-topic of the market and recently many of the Intel executives including Raja Koduri talked about the upcoming GPUs.  There were many more things discussed in the interview on topics such as HPC and HPG graphics architectures which include Ponte Vecchio & ARC GPUs.

The first thing here is to understand why Intel chose TSMC over its Fabs to manufacture ARC GPUs and the reason was that during the development of ARC GPUs for the gaming segment, the top priority was given to the process that offered a good manufacturing capacity.

Intel Arc
Raja Koduri, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group, displays a wafer with Intel Arc high-performance discrete graphics hardware as part of a presentation during Intel Architecture Day 2021. The virtual event was held in August 2021. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

So for this reason Intel’s executives simply decided that intel’s process was not a great fit for ARC GPUs due to the insufficient capacity of the Intel 7nm node process. Other characteristics such as the operating frequency and cost were also factored in & the company decided it was the best to outsource the manufacturing to TSMC as its N6 (6nm) node offered the best balance.

4RABET

Intel Xe-HPG ARC Alchemist GPUs To Offer More Than 32 Xe Cores?

The executives also went on to further state that its Xe-HPG architecture is very scalable and by this information, we can assume that the 8-slice Xe-HPG ARC Alchemist GPU shown to the press was the flagship 32 Xe-Core config and we can expect to get a higher-end SKU sometime in the future.

Intel ARC Alchemist vs NVIDIA GA104 & AMD Navi 22 GPUs

GPU NameAlchemist DG-512NVIDIA GA104AMD Navi 22
ArchitectureXe-HPGAmpereRDNA 2
Process NodeTSMC 6nmSamsung 8nmTSMC 7nm
Flagship ProductARC (TBA)GeForce RTX 3070 TiRadeon RX 6700 XT
Raster Engine862
FP32 Cores32 Xe Cores48 SM Units40 Compute Units
FP32 Units409661442560
FP32 Compute~16 TFLOPs21.7 TFLOPs12.4 TFLOPs
TMUs256192160
ROPs1289664
RT Cores32 RT Units48 RT Cores (V2)40 RA Units
Tensor Cores512 XMX Cores192 Tensor Cores (V3)N/A
Tensor Compute~131 TFLOPs FP16
~262 TOPs INT8
87 TFLOPs FP16
174 TOPs INT8
25 TFLOPs FP16
50 TOPs INT8
L2 CacheTBA4 MB3 MB
Additional Cache16 MB Smart Cache?N/A96 MB Infinity Cache
Memory Bus256-bit256-bit192-bit
Memory Capacity16 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR6X16 GB GDDR6
LaunchQ1 2022Q2 2021Q1 2021

Intel ARC Already Has A Reference Graphics Card Design But Partners are Open To Custom Models

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according to information gathered from the executives its made clear that Intel has already shipped its reference design to its partners. As we know from the interview, the company is currently investigating if it’s worth launching a reference-only flavor similar to NVIDIA’s Founders Edition or allows partners (ODMs) to manufacturer their custom variants.

Intel XSS Is Backwards Compatible With DG1 ‘Xe-LP’ & 11th Gen CPUs

XSS has been one of the most interesting technologies of the upcoming Xe-HPG ARC graphics lineup. And the silicon giant has now officially confirmed that the technology will be backward compatible with both Xe-LP-based DG1 GPUs & iGPUs on the 11th Gen Tiger Lake GPUs.

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Nivedita Bangari
I am a software engineer by profession and technology is my love, learning and playing with new technologies is my passion.

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