Intel is relying on its own internally developed 7nm Production Process as well as its Taiwanese partner TSMC’s 5nm Node to manufacture its own Xe GPU, especially for the High-Performance Computing (HPC) segment. The Intel Ponte Vecchio Xe HPC GPU was previously believed to be made on the 6nm fabrication process, but the reports appear to have been dispelled.
Intel is actively developing its own Xe Graphics Solution for multiple segments. While the Xe GPU for laptops and notebooks will retain the Intel ‘Iris’ Graphis branding, the HPC segment will get Ponte Vecchio Xe HPC GPU. New reports now claim Intel is not going with a 6nm Production Process. Instead, Intel will rely on its own 7nm Node as well as TSMC’s 5nm Node to fabricate its flagship Xe GPU graphics solution for data-intensive and high-end analytics computing segments.
Intel Ponte Vecchio Xe HPC GPU To Be Manufactured On Intel’s 7nm and TSMC’s 5nm Node Simultaneously, Claims Report:
Intel Ponte Vecchio Xe HPC GPU is the company’s flagship product for discrete graphics. It is about to be embedded in the upcoming Aurora supercomputer. Previous reports claimed Intel’s CEO accepted the company was actively relying on TSMC. The reports were concerning primarily TSMC’s 6nm Process is essentially an optimized variant of TSMC’s 7nm Process, which is roughly equal in density to Intel’s 10nm Process. Needless to add, such choices would certainly and negatively impact the power profile of Intel’s upcoming GPU.
— Wccftech (@wccftechdotcom) July 28, 2020
Now new reports have offered some very interesting and positive insights. To start off, TSMC’s 5nm Fabrication Node is equivalent in density to Intel’s 7nm process. And Intel’s Ponte Vecchio Xe HPC GPU is ideally feasible at such densities only, to be powerful. In other words, this means TSMC’s 6nm Fabrication Process is not going to be utilized, at least for the HPC GPU.
It is, however, interesting to note that Intel will manufacture multiple variants of the Ponte Vecchio Xe HPC GPU. Reports indicate these SKUs will have an IO die made at Intel. These dies will be reportedly made either on Intel’s 7nm process, or TSMC’s 5nm process. It is likely the power profile of these SKUs will differ significantly. New claims indicate the Rambo cache will be made in-house at Intel. However, the Intel Xe Connectivity Die will be built at TSMC. Incidentally, this information appears to have been repeatedly put forth but hasn’t been confirmed by Intel.
Intel Did Place Order For 180,000 Wafers On The TSMC 6nm Process But Not For Ponte Vecchio Xe HPC GPU:
The majority of the rumors started after Intel reportedly placed an order worth 180,000 wafers on the TSMC 6nm process. While the order is apparently true, and the order quantity is accurate as well, the wafers will not go into the production of Ponte Vecchio Xe HPC GPU.
Intel Ponte Vecchio GPU Will Be Made On TSMC's 6nm Process, CPUs Could Be Made On TSMC 3nm As Well https://t.co/oqu709dTAP
— Ricardo B (@0xDEADBEEFCAFE) July 28, 2020
It is not immediately clear why Intel needs those 180,000 silicon wafers. Experts claim Intel might need those wafers to make CPUs and processor components. However, this is just speculation, and Intel isn’t offering any information about the intended purpose of those silicon wafers.
It is not clear if the first variant of the Ponte Vecchio Xe HPC GPU will be from Intel’s 7nm or TSMC’s 5nm. However, it can be assumed that TSMC’s variant might beat Intel to market simply because Intel has struggled with moving on from its archaic 14nm Fabrication Node, and the extensive delays with 10nm Node can only translate into even more delays with the 7nm Fabrication Node.