Intel has had a tough year of major departures, security disasters, staggering sales compared to the competitor and the overall appearance of a company trailing the competition technologically. But in the twilight of 2018, Intel released an action plan to remind us exactly why Intel first broke the competition first and it just gave us a look behind the curtain about what should come.
The action plan has three tips: New Integrated GPUs, new CPU architecture and a new way to design the chip itself that will make the processors as scary and scalable as AMD.
Everyone wants to respond directly to criticism Intel has met lately. The integrated GPUs can not be compared to those on AMD chips or discrete Nvidia graphics. Intel has been creamed and its own discrete GPU is not expected until 2020. At the same time Intel turned out to get its first 10nm processors, the code name Ice Lake and based on the Skylake architecture, out the door. It must repeatedly delay the chips, which makes investors and consumers wary of the future of the company.
Intel must confront all these issues, and in a series of announcements today it seems.
The first is enhanced integrated graphics . We know that Intel has invested heavily in rivaling AMD and Nvidia on the GPU front, and the new Gen11 integrated graphics will not be the big advancement, but it will still be a big one. Current Intel Intel CPUs with integrated graphics are based on Gen9, which uses 24 enhanced executables. Gen11 skips that number to 64 and Intel claims it will double performance to Gen9. The new integrated graphics appear in 10nm chips next year
The second prong is a new micro architecture that replaces Skylake, which runs most of our servers, laptops and desktops. Intel calls it Sunny Cove, and as Skylake and its subsequent iterations always include "lake" in the name, Sunny Cove and its iterations will probably include "cove." "It's one of the big things to have the code names be geographical features," Ronak Singhal, Intel Fellow, and director of CPU computing architecture on Intel, told Gizmodo. "There is an unlimited selection of options."
Intel does not share any performance data or even a roadmap for Sunny Cove, but it assured us that we will soon see a Sunny Cove product available on the market soon next year. Singhal told me that when he designs a new core, the team focuses on two types of improvements. The first is "out of the box's performance", or you just get by replacing the old CPU with the new one. In other words, make sure the software is now better and more efficient on the future CPU.
The other type of improvement is a bit more critical to Sunny Cove. That's what Singhal refers to as "targeted algorithms" for the kernel instruction set.
The instruction set is facilitated between the hardware of the CPU and the software on your storage device, and Singhals team has attempted to improve the instructions set for Sunny Cove in three major areas: encryption, machine learning and artificial intelligence. This means that encoders can potentially see great performance gains write, test and run their programs on Sunny Cove CPUs versus Skylake or AMD CPUs. For this purpose, Intel also releases new software called One API, designed to make tweaking software for the hardware even easier.
But Sunny Cove and Gen11 news are just two laces. The other prong hits me as more exciting – whether it's more complex. Intel has found a way to build CPUs vertically . Traditional CPUs are only built along an x-y axis. They are a unique ranch house. You can make a lot of things in a CPU, but it can only be paired if it's physically on the same level. Building vertically usually introduces awful layers.
But Intel believes it's sorted out a way to build vertically instead – think high. The concept itself is called 3D stacking, and we have already seen it in memory, especially high bandwidth memory (HBM). HBM is faster and less power hungry while it also takes up less space because it stacks the necessary components to the memory on top of each other.
3D stacking in CPUs is also possible and should yield similar gains, but so far, we have not seen this type of 3D stacker known as logical-on-logic into consumer grade devices. Intel hopes to change it by the end of 2019 using 3D stacking technology, Foveros. Foveros will be used in a new piece that wants a 10nm chiplet stacked on a low power door. Ramune Nagisetty, Intel Director of Process and Product Integration, and one of the leaders in this 3D Stacking Project, told me that this is essentially doing the best in class performance and efficiency, and the smallest form factor too. "
There are challenges for designing chips vertically. You can not make them too tall for example. Another large is thermal. Components of a traditional CPU are all on one level so they can all have contact with the boiler and Nagisetty emphasizes that the design of these chips must be carefully done to ensure that the hottest components are closest to the heatsink.
She added that her team had been working on 3D stacking for many years. "I can not say how long we've been working with these technologies, but I can say that it has been much longer than anything related to 10 nanometers. "It means that these challenges will not likely bite early adopts in the butt. It can also explain why Intel has worked almost nonplussed by frequent delays of 10nm chips. There was a way to make the CPU equivalent to a high upturn!
Whether the high elevation ends up being a tough inferno, is still seeing. Intel p I would like to send a CPU next year with 3D stacking incorporated, and while it would not clarify what kind of product the chip expected to appear in, the impression I thought was that it would be a consumer-friendly product, likely for a laptop.
With regard to the safety of all these new chips, more people on Intel have stated that both the upcoming Ice Lake as well as the Sunny Cove CPUs will have the limitation of hardware for large tribes of the nasty Specter and Meltdown security who utilizes that made news in the beginning of 2018.
which means that Intel's full year could be over soon. We do not know for sure before we begin to see these chips in the actual products though. So keep your eyes slippery for them by the end of 2019.