Arch-rivals Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, more commonly known as AMD, have teamed up in a partnership to take on GPU maker Nvidia. AMD and Intel have been pretty fierce rivals, competing to control the PC processor market, with Intel having been pretty much always on top in that race.
The long-rumoured move became official on Monday when AMD and Intel agreed to partner on a PC chip, which will use an Intel processor and an AMD graphics unit. Executives from both AMD and Intel told PCWorld that the combined AMD-Intel chip will be an “evolution” of Intel’s 8th-generation, H-series Core chips, with the ability to power-manage the entire module to preserve battery life.
The chip will be an amalgamation of both an Intel processor as well as custom AMD Radeon graphics core inside the processor package, aimed at bringing top-tier gaming to thin-and-light notebook PCs.
Scott Herkelman, VP and GM of AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group, stated: “Our collaboration with Intel expands the installed base for AMD Radeon GPUs and brings to market a differentiated solution for high-performance graphics.”
“Together we are offering gamers and content creators the opportunity to have a thinner-and-lighter PC capable of delivering discrete performance-tier graphics experiences in AAA games and content creation applications,” he said.
So what made Intel come up with a 2 in 1 solution? According to Chris Walker, VP of Intel’s Client Computing Group, Intel had a problem: Gaming PCs were selling, and customers expressed interested in VR, but notebooks with GPUs required to run them were thick and heavy. How could Intel bring top-tier performance to notebooks that weren’t bulky and didn’t weigh a ton?
The answer, as it turned out, was the EMIB, a small sliver of silicon to bridge discrete logic cores within a single chip package. EMIB is a small intelligent bridge design, which allows information to be passed quickly in “extremely close proximity.” The EMIB layout also allowed for a compromise, by placing CPU, GPU, and memory in close proximity without being part of the same actual design.