Intel and AMD team up to bring integrated Radeon graphics to laptops


AMD explains that it has "designed a semi-custom graphics processor unit (GPU) that will be integrated into a new Intel multi-chip processor package".

There's no word on an exact release date, but Intel says it expects manufacturers to begin shipping systems based on the new chip at some point in the first quarter of 2018. Up until the launch of the combined Intel and AMD chip, gaming computers, be it a laptop or desktop, required an Intel semiconductor as well as a high-end chip from either Nvidia or AMD. Additionally, a new power-sharing framework means the processor, discrete graphics chip, and dedicated graphics memory work synergistically.

Monday's partnership might sound odd, given that AMD and Intel have been competitors for years in the PC chip industry. The goal is to deliver driver updates for new games on the day they are released, or shortly before, just as AMD and Nvidia now do with their gaming graphics products. It's described as a small intelligent bridge "that allows heterogeneous silicon to quickly pass information in extremely close proximity".

This multi-chip design will leverage Intel's Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) to allow high-speed connections between the different parts, without the height and manufacturing penalties that can come from other approaches. It also reportedly uses about half the memory power.

These days, though, Intel may see a bigger threat in graphics chipmaker Nvidia, which is adapting its own processors to enhance artificial intelligence.

Intel and AMD will collaborate to develop a chip powering the thin and lightweight laptops, which are fit for playing complex video-games.

Walker, Vice President, Client Computing Group General Manager, Mobility Client Platform noted in a statement today that Intel wanted to find a way to deliver a stronger combination of performance-level processors and discrete graphics that opens the door to even smaller form factors. Though with the Mac Mini not being updated in some time, it could be the device that could take advantage of this new Intel-AMD package. With that said, Intel has no answer to NVIDIA on the GPU front, while AMD APU products are exceptional.

Furthermore, the semi-custom GPU is not only made specifically for Intel but it also features the second generation High Bandwidth Memory 2 (HBM2) which made the upcoming chip as the first mobile processor to it. Furthermore, it frees up valuable real estate that can be used to improve battery life, create new motherboard layouts, experiment with new cooling solutions and more.