Rumour Mill: Intel's Xe Series GPUs to Support Ray-Tracing?

Update 1 – Intel Xe-GPUs to support ray-tracing?
Original post – Intel Architecture Day: new processors, integrated GPUs and gaming graphics cards


Update 1: Intel Xe GPUs Support Ray-Tracing?


At FMX in Stuttgart, Intel let on that their new Xe-series GPUs would offer support for ray-tracing. The FMX (Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Immersive Media) an exhibition exclusively for media creators where, among other things, visitors can look forward to experiencing the latest in the industry's hardware and software. Indeed it was on this stage that Intel took the opportunity to announce support for hardware-based ray-tracing on their new Xe-series graphics cards. Going by the codename Arctic Sound, the chip manufacturer has decided it's the right time to get back into the dedicated graphics card market. These new Intel graphics cards will probably come to market in 2020 at the earliest. More background information is available on the Intel blog (external link). The Xe-series graphics cards would represent the second series of graphics cards after NVIDIA's Turing-based GPUs to offer support for hardware-based ray-tracing.


Original Post: Intel Architecture Day: New Processors, iGPUs and Gaming Graphics Cards

Quo vadis – Where Are We Headed?

Intel Architecture Day saw the renowned manufacturer release new information about products that are on the horizon. Away from the focus on new processors, there is also a focus on GPUs. This is where Intel presented their new iGPU Generation (Integrated Graphics Processing Unit) and even put some enthusiast-grade graphics cards on show. Here is a short summary of the ways Intel is pushing into the market.


Intel Sunny Cove: CPU Architecture for Ice Lake Processors

Sunny Cove CPU Architecture (Source: Intel)
The successor to Skylake’s CPU architecture will be known as Sunny Cove and fht basis for the new Ice Lake family of processors. The Ice Lake-CPUs are rumoured to be using Intel‘s 10nm process and to offer a greater degree of parallelisation in addition to reduced latencies and new algorithms. More detailed information on the new Sunny Cove CPU architecutre can be viewed at Computerbase (external link).

Apart from the new CPU architecture, Ice Lake processors will use the new 10nm node and will also include a package design utilising stackable chips (3D Stacking). The new Foveros Chiplet Design is rumoured to combine an Embedded Multi-die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) with 3D Stacking. EMIB (external link) enables multiple chips to be combined together on a single die. 3D Stacking means that not only can they be located next to one another; they can be stacking on top of one another too. Dies of different scales can be combined together, e.g. a 7nm CPU can be combined with a 10nm GPU chip alongside a 14nm RAM chip – all on a single die. Computerbase (external link) additional info.


Gen11 iGPU & Dedicated High-End Gaming Graphics Cards from Intel

Intel Gen11 iGPU (Source: Computerbase.de)
The Gen11 GPU that will be used in the new Ice Lake client processors from Intel. With 64 rather than the previous 24 Execution Units (EU) the 1TFLOPS "barrier" is rumoured to have finally been broken. This would put the performance of entry-level GPUs in the shade. The focus of Gen11-iGPUs includes, among other things, optimised Media Encoding/Decoding capabilities. At the same time, the integrated 11th-gen graphics processor will also now be able to output content in HDR and even use Adaptive Sync.

Computerbase.de also drills into (external link) additional information and goes into dedicated graphics cards from Intel. Known previously only by the codename of "Arctic Sound", a dedicated (dGPU) is rumoured to be ready for the spotlight by 2020. The graphics cards are also set to receive gaming variants and cover the mid-range and enthusiast-level segments too. From 2020 the iGPUs and dGPUs will be merged together in the form of project "Xe".

 
 

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