Intel brings a Core CPU and Radeon GPU together on one package

Mmm, crow. Intel announced this morning that it's collaborating with AMD to deliver one of its eighth-generation Core processors paired with a semi-custom Radeon graphics chip on one package. The semi-custom Radeon GPU and Intel processor cores will be joined together for the first time by Intel's Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge, or EMIB, a way of connecting discrete dies across a 2.5D, high-bandwidth on-package interconnect. The combined package will include a stack of HBM2 memory alongside the CPU and GPU cores.

Although details are extremely scarce at this stage, Intel says the combined chips can deliver "incredible performance and graphics for enthusiasts" in a form factor that can power thin-and-light gaming PCs. The company did note that the CPU on board this package will be an H-series chip, or a 35W-to-45W TDP design. Intel offered no details of the architectural generation or graphics-processing resources of the semi-custom GPU it commissioned from AMD.

Intel says the motherboard area it saves by combining the CPU, GPU, and HBM2 with EMIB will let its partners design compact thermal solutions capable of dissipating the heat this high-performance SoC produces. The company also points to vaguely-described "new features," "new board layouts," and larger batteries as potential benefits.

An example of the space savings Intel expects this CPU-and-GPU combo to realize over a traditional motherboard with a discrete GPU and GDDR5. Source: Intel

Although comparisons between AMD's recently-announced Raven Ridge APUs and this chip will naturally spring to mind, the simple fact that the CPU on this product is an H-series part should put to rest any notion that AMD is falling on its sword. Raven Ridge APUs are, for the moment, targeted at 15W to 25W power envelopes and feature no on-package memory. That fact alone will probably put a ceiling on the graphics performance we can expect from Raven Ridge.

Another distinguishing factor between Raven Ridge machines and this new Intel chip will apparently be the window sticker on systems that include it. So far, AMD seems to be positioning its APUs for notebooks priced well under $1000, while the company told PCWorld that the fruits of its collaboration with Intel will likely find homes in systems selling for $1200 to $1400—about the cost of a reasonably-priced gaming notebook with discrete Nvidia graphics inside. If that holds true, Raven Ridge PCs likely won't even occupy the same ballpark as those with Intel's as-yet-unnamed wonder of miniaturization.

Intel says more news about this product and systems based on this multi-chip module will be coming in the first quarter of 2018. That might just be enough time for us to scrape our jaws off the floor.

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