Intel DG2 to ship in 768 to 4096 core configurations

Posted on Friday, Feb 26 2021 @ 12:56 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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The arrival of Intel's Xe-HPG will be one of the biggest PC hardware launches of the year. This marks the third time Intel is dabbling in 3D graphics, the first two times were a complete failure so we're very excited to discover if the third time's the charm. Intel started working on its own GPU architecture a couple of years ago to fulfill several unfilled needs in the firm's product portfolio.

NVIDIA's success in the datacenter market is one of the biggest drivers behind the Xe architecture. Datacenters are adopting GPUs at a very fast rate. Last quarter, NVIDIA sold $1.9 billion worth of GPUs to this market segment, double as much as a year ago. Intel wants a piece of this fast-growing pie -- and the firm designed its Xe architecture to be versatile enough to also serve the integrated graphics and discrete graphics markets.

The latter is what most gamers are looking forward to. For over two decades now, the GPU market has been a duopoly held by NVIDIA and AMD. Will Intel be able to shake up this market? Or will the Xe fall flat on its face? We should learn more later this year.

Leaked DG2 specifications

In the meantime, VideoCardz came across an interesting Xe-HPG related leak. Based on the latest rumors, Intel is working on at least three variants of the DG2 GPU. While the DG1 was a single (and rather unimpressive) product, the DG2 may feature higher-end products. Intel is allegedly working on DG2 GPUs; one with 128 execution units (EUs), a second one with 384 EUs, and the third one with 512 EUs.

The leaked specifications list indicates we can expect SKUs with 768 to 4096 shading units. All versions are expected to get GDDR6 memory, possibly as much as 16GB for the top model. The full configuration of the Xe-HPG 512 EU allows a maximum of 4096 shading units, it has a 256-bit memory bus and 8GB or 16GB GDDR6 memory. This model may compete with high-end GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA -- if Intel can deliver on its promises.
According to the leaked DG2 specs list, we should expect high-end GPUs with up to 4096 shading units and up to 16GB of GDDR6 memory. It is unclear which model will the flagship DG2 model compete with, but judging from the memory capacity, it could even be Radeon RX 6800XT or GeForce RTX 3080.
VideoCardz writes the 384 EU variant of the DG2 is a small GPU with a die size of around 190mm². This model might compete with the AMD Navi22 or NVIDIA GA106. This is all still very speculative of course, there have been no performance leaks yet and a lot will also depend on how well Intel's drivers are. It doesn't matter how fast GPU is if the drivers are total shit.

The Intel Xe-HPG will not be manufactured by Intel but by an external foundry. The only options here are TSMC or Samsung. Based on the rumor mill, TSMC's 6nm node is the most likely option.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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