Intel Adds Driver Support For VPU on 14th Gen Meteor Lake CPUs

Intel Adds Driver Support For VPU on 14th Gen Meteor Lake CPUs 1
Image source: Jason R. Wilson, Wccftech.

Intel posted a new Linux driver today for VPU support on 14th Gen Meteor Lake CPUs, reports Michael Larabel of the website Phoronix. VPU, or "Versatile Processing Unit", will be featured within the 14th Gen Core Meteor Lake CPUs.

Intel Posts New Linux Driver For VPU "Versatile Processing Unit" Coming With 14th Gen Meteor Lake CPUs

The VPU or versatile processing unit is unique because Intel will utilize it for deep learning applications with AI inference acceleration. The new VPU driver by Intel will be placed into the Linux Direct Rendering Manager, or DRM, similar to the graphics driver from the company. The new Intel VPU driver for Linux is licensed under GPLv2 specifically. The user-space stack is to use the "Intel oneAPI Level Zero API and OpenVINO," continues Larabel.

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The screenshot of the new Linux versatile processing unit implementation by Intel. Image source: Michael Larabel of Phoronix

Intel anticipates having the versatile processing unit's user-space code publicly available in an open-source format at the end of the third quarter. The firmware for the VPU will remain closed-source.

Meteor Lake will get an integrated VPU Accelerator. It's similar to the Neural in the Apple M1 for speech recognition, language models, and conceivably many apps by the time Meteor Lake launches.

— Tom of Moore's Law Is Dead YouTube Channel

Intel was rumored to use the new VPU technology to compete with Apple's Neural Engine, seen in the company's desktops, laptops, iPads, and iPhones. While not knowing much about the VPUs, it is speculated that the unit will take space embedded on the dies next to Intel's CPU core architecture, similar to the architecture of the M1 processor by Apple.

Intel Adds Driver Support For VPU on 14th Gen Meteor Lake CPUs 2

In related news, AMD plans on producing an on-chip machine learning acceleration for Van Gogh and Rembrandt APU series and will potentially be the world's first processor of that caliber to release to mass desktop and mobile computing markets.

Based on the information we have, the VPU would be featured within the SOC Tile for 14th Gen Meteor Lake CPUs and may utilize Atom cores. That's at least what the rumor mill is saying right now. There are expected to be 2 to 4 of these cores within the SOC Tile which is one of the four tiles infused on the Meteor Lake chip.

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According to @OneRaichu, there are only two LP-E cores on the Meteor Lake chips and those are present on the SOC Tile which means that these are the ones being used by the VPU.

Intel Meteor Lake Mobility CPU Lineup Expected Features:

  • Triple-Hybrid CPU Architecture (P/E/LP-E Cores)
  • Brand New Redwood Cove (P-Cores)
  • Brand New Crestmont (E-Cores)
  • Up To 14 Cores (6+8) For H/P Series & Up To 12 Cores (4+8) For U Series CPUs
  • Intel 4 Process Node For CPU, TSMC 3nm For tGPU
  • Intel Battlemage 'Xe-LPG' GPU With Up To 128 EUs
  • Up To LPDDR5X-7467 & DDR5-5200 Support
  • Up To 96 GB DDR5 & 64 GB LPDDR5X Capacities
  • Intel VPU For AI Inferencing With Atom Cores
  • x8 Gen 5 Lanes For Discrete GPU (Only H-Series)
  • Triple x4 M.2 Gen 4 SSD Support
  • Four Thunderbolt 4 Ports

The versatile processing unit driver adds over eight thousand five hundred lines of code into the Linux kernel.

Intel Mobility CPU Lineup:

CPU FamilyArrow LakeMeteor LakeRaptor LakeAlder Lake
Process NodeIntel 20A '5nm EUV"Intel 4 '7nm EUV'Intel 7 '10nm ESF'Intel 7 '10nm ESF'
CPU ArchitectureHybrid (Four-Core)Hybrid (Triple-Core)Hybrid (Dual-Core)Hybrid (Dual-Core)
P-Core ArchitectureLion CoveRedwood CoveRaptor CoveGolden Cove
E-Core ArchitectureSkymontCrestmontGracemontGracemont
Top ConfigurationTBD6+8 (H-Series)6+8 (H-Series)6+8 (H-Series)
Max Cores / ThreadsTBD14/2014/2014/20
Planned LineupH/P/U SeriesH/P/U SeriesH/P/U SeriesH/P/U Series
GPU ArchitectureXe2 Battlemage 'Xe-LPG'
or
Xe3 Celestial "Xe-LPG"
Xe2 Battlemage 'Xe-LPG'Iris Xe (Gen 12)Iris Xe (Gen 12)
GPU Execution Units192 EUs (1024 Cores)?128 EUs (1024 Cores)96 EUs (768 Cores)96 EUs (768 Cores)
Memory SupportTBDDDR5-5600
LPDDR5-7400
LPDDR5X - 7400+
DDR5-5200
LPDDR5-5200
LPDDR5-6400
DDR5-4800
LPDDR5-5200
LPDDR5X-4267
Memory Capacity (Max)TBD96 GB64 GB64 GB
Thunderbolt 4 PortsTBD422
WiFi CapabilityTBDWiFi 6EWiFi 6EWiFi 6E
TDPTBD15-45W15-45W15-45W
Launch2H 2024?2H 20231H 20231H 2022

News Source: https://www.phoronix.com/news/Intel-VPU-Driver-Linux; https://patchwork.kernel.org/project/dri-devel/patch/20220728131709.1087188-2-jacek.lawrynowicz@linux.intel.com/

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