The new processor package incorporates an 8th Generation Core H-Series CPU, AMD's Radeon Vega GPU and HMB2 memory all in a single chip package. Intel says that it has been working with engineers from the Radeon Technologies Group on this breakthrough processor combination chip for quite some time, which explains the rumors that we've heard about its existence over the past year. However, the early reports seemed so far-fetched that we never truly believed that such a product would ever see the light of day.
This mashup of an Intel processor, AMD graphics, and HBM2 memory is made possible thanks to an Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB), which is an intelligent bridge that allows information to swiftly pass through between the discrete pieces of silicon. Tying it all together is an Intel custom software driver package which not only helps to coordinate communications between the three pieces of the silicon puzzle on-package, but also regulates temperatures and power delivery in real-time.
"[It] enables system designers to adjust the ratio of power sharing between the processor and graphics based on workloads and usages, like performance gaming," writes Chris Walker, Intel VP of the Client Computing Group and general manager of the Mobile Client Platform. "Balancing power between our high-performing processor and the graphics subsystem is critical to achieve great performance across both processors as systems get thinner."
“Our collaboration with Intel expands the installed base for AMD Radeon GPUs and brings to market a differentiated solution for high-performance graphics,” said Scott Herkelman, vice president and general manager, AMD Radeon Technologies Group. “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.
"This new semi-custom GPU puts the performance and capabilities of Radeon graphics into the hands of an expanded set of enthusiasts who want the best visual experience possible.”
So, once you get over the shock factor, you might ask, "but why?" Intel says that it wants to challenge the notion that the PC market has become mature with little to no innovation, and that it is looking to create "new possibilities" for the PC industry. In this case, this collaboration with AMD will enable thinner, lighter and more powerful notebook PCs that are as low profile as just 11mm thick (although Intel contends that 16mm or less is the prime target). By comparison, most notebooks PCs that currently feature Core H-Series processors average about 26mm in height. These new products will reportedly begin shipping in 2018.
So, let all of this sink in for a second. Take a deep breath and then take to our comments section to give us your thoughts on this momentous announcement from Intel and AMD.