Intel's Xe GPU may not be a secret anymore, we've seen entry-level and HPC derived Xe GPU based products over the last couple of months, but what remains a secret are architecture details for Intel's next-gen and first discrete-tier graphics architecture.
Intel To Unveil Xe GPU Architecture Details & Features at GDC 2020 - Designed For Next-Gen Gaming, Workstation and HPC Graphics Cards
Intel has unveiled that they will be holding a special session at GDC where they will present the very first architecture details and features for their Xe architecture. Intel's Xe architecture will be powering all the way from entry-level mobility/desktop products to high-end HPC, workstation and enthusiast gaming-grade designs. Following are the details of the session itself:
Intel's brand new Xe Architecture has been teased for a while, and is scheduled for release later this year! This update brings a significant compute, geometry and throughput improvements over today's widely used Gen9 and Gen11 graphics.
This talk will provide a detailed tour of the hardware architecture behind Intel's upcoming GPUs - unveiling the structure behind its building blocks and their performance implications. Special consideration will be taken to explain how graphics engineers can best exploit the new Xe Architecture. We will then take an in-depth look at the powerful new features being introduced with this new architecture.
Introduction to Xe Architecture including new and innovative features, unique insight on 3D and compute, and clear guidance on Xe architecture optimizations.
GDC 2020 will take place from March 16th till March 20th and while there isn't any mention of a livestream happening during the event, we will have our team visiting the event to cover all the details. With that said, Intel's Xe GPUs are definitely something to look forward to. It not only brings a third player into the graphics market, but will also make the market more competitive.
Intel just recently previewed their first discrete graphics chip, the DG1, which targets entry-level mobility and desktop platforms. Intel allowed the tech press to have a look at their SDV or software development vehicle card and play a few games on this very early product which they are sampling to ISV's worldwide to optimize their software around Intel's upcoming Xe graphics cards. Intel has also showcased their most powerful Xe GPU design, an exascale class HPC chip known as Ponte Vecchio which will go on to power the Aurora supercomputer in 2021. The Ponte Vecchio GPU will also utilize the Xe graphics architecture, but its a second revision will would utilize the much more advanced 7nm+ process node from Intel.
The Intel Xe GPU architecture is one scalable architecture powering various products. Intel is planning to offer three microarchitectures derived from Xe. These include:
- Intel Xe LP (Integrated + Entry)
- Intel Xe HP (Mid-Range, Enthusiasts, Datacenter / AI)
- Intel Xe HPC (HPC Exascale)
Just from the naming scheme, you can tell where these GPUs would feature. The 'LP' keyword stands for Low Power, whereas the 'HP' keyword stands for High Performance. The HPC keyword is simply the High Performance Computing aimed architecture which will use a range of new Intel technologies that we are going to talk about. It is stated that Xe LP is around 5W-20W, but can scale up to 50W. Intel's Xe HP is one tier above that and should cover the 75W-250W segment, while the Xe HPC class architecture should aim even higher, delivering even more compute performance than the rest.
Intel also states that they will be unveiling 'powerful' features of their Xe graphics architecture that might hint at techs such as ray tracing or better, which has been hinted in previous rumors. Other than that, the Xe graphics architecture is said to bring significant compute, geometry & throughput improvements over current Gen 11 GPUs and Tiger Lake CPUs with Xe graphics are expected to deliver 2x the performance uplift over Gen 11 GPUs which is impressive. We definitely can't wait to see what Intel Xe GPUs have to offer for the consumer and HPC markets!