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Intel details first CPU with integrated GPU

Intel details first CPU with integrated GPU

Intel demoed the world's first CPU with an integrated GPU today. Photograph courtesy of Intel's Nick Knupffer.

As if the demonstration of the world’s first 32nm processor technology wasn’t enough to get people excited today, Intel has also decided to announce a veritable treasure chest of new products.

Some of these are based on Intel’s 45nm technology, while others are based on the newly announced 32nm transistors. The latter products are all codenamed with the Westmere umbrella name for the architecture, but they come in a number of interesting flavours.

Let’s kick off with the biggest news, which is the first CPU with an integrated GPU, codenamed Clarkdale. No specifics have been revealed about the GPU yet, but Intel told us that we could expect it to offer an improved equivalent of the integrated graphics found in Intel’s current G45 chipset. Designed for the mainstream market, the CPUs will feature two cores, but will also be able to handle four threads via HyperThreading.

Interestingly, while the CPU core in Clarkdale will be fabricated using Intel’s new 32nm technology, the chip’s DDR3 memory controller and GPU will be built using 45nm transistors. The three will sit together in a multi-chip package, and communicate via a high-speed QPI link.

The chips are designed to be used with Intel’s forthcoming mainstream 5-series chipsets, which will feature 16 PCI-E 2.0 lanes that can either be assigned to a single x16 slot or two x8 slots. Intel hasn’t yet announced whether the chipsets will support CrossFire or SLI, but we’d expect them to support both given Intel’s commitment to the two technologies when it launched the X58 chipset - it will require validation on AMD's and Nvidia's part as well.

Also designed for the 5-series chipsets is Intel’s new line of mainstream quad-core CPUs, which are codenamed Lynnfield. These will be produced with 45nm transistors and will be able to handle eight threads via HyperThreading. Meanwhile, Intel has also announced two equivalent mobile CPUs, codenamed Clarksfield and Arrandale, which will feature four 45nm cores (eight threads with HyperThreading) and two 32nm cores (four threads with HyperThreading) respectively. Like Clarkdale, Arrandale will also feature integrated graphics.

Okay, so that’s the mainstream segment covered off, but what do performance freaks stand to get out of the 32nm revolution? Well, this is where it starts to get interesting, as Intel has revealed its plans to make a top-end six-core desktop processor that’s capable of handling twelve threads with HyperThreading. Codenamed Gulftown, the new CPU is scheduled to be released in 2010. In addition to this, Intel has now officially revealed its plans for the first eight-core Xeon processor, codenamed Nehalem-EX - this will be based on the current 45nm process technology.

The company also says that it plans to use the extra transistor budget freed up in the move to the 32nm technology to add some new features. These will probably be officially announced as a subsequent version of SSE at a later date, and Intel says that it’s "similar to adding SSE4.1 in Penryn." The new features will include seven new instructions for accelerating encryption and decryption algorithms, which Intel says could allow full disk encryption.

Do you have a craving for more cores or are you content with your current CPU? Tell us in the forums.

26 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
chrisb2e9 10th February 2009, 20:27 Quote
I dont need more than my q6600. In fact I have been thinking of replacing it with a faster dual core that I can overclock farther.
There just isn't the support in games for more than two and I would rather have the higher clock speed.
Jenny_Y8S 10th February 2009, 20:33 Quote
So will I be able to swap out my i7 920 for a Gulftown on my P6T? Or is it another round of MB upgrades?
Pookeyhead 10th February 2009, 20:59 Quote
I bet it's a new socket. Always bloody well is. This used to be a minor irritation, but lately, with more and more layers being used in MB PCBs, it's now a major issue: £200+ for a new MB is now something you don't wanna be doing too regularly. I miss the days of high end MBs being £80 :(
n3mo 10th February 2009, 22:54 Quote
Clarkdale - now THIS is going to be crap. Intel has a incredibly long tradition of making completely unusable IGPs. And I don't even think about gaming, the 950 is sluggish even with flash. I'm waiting for next move from AMD, there is a wise saying - "Intel does it first, AMD does it right".
alpaca 10th February 2009, 23:05 Quote
i do not really see the point in creating more and more cores... how many applications have more than 2 treads? some video and data encryption/decryption software. ok, but that is not mainstream is it? are there no more significant core improvements sought after?
haakon.t 10th February 2009, 23:18 Quote
I don't get the point with putting a cpu and gpu on the same chip. I know it's going to be smaller and all that, but I just don't see why someone would sacrifice so much performance in gpu (and probably cpu) power just to get a more compact solution. I may seem like an idiot to some now, but I really can't see a market for this chip.

As some of you may already have seen I'm not too well informed about this gpu-cpu-thingy, so please enlighten me if what I say make you want to put two fingers in your throat and violate your cat or something...
Er-El 10th February 2009, 23:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by haakon.t
I don't get the point with putting a cpu and gpu on the same chip. I know it's going to be smaller and all that, but I just don't see why someone would sacrifice so much performance in gpu (and probably cpu) power just to get a more compact solution. I may seem like an idiot to some now, but I really can't see a market for this chip.

As some of you may already have seen I'm not too well informed about this gpu-cpu-thingy, so please enlighten me if what I say make you want to put two fingers in your throat and violate your cat or something...
I look at it as more of a work in progress. They have to somewhere, and I for one welcome this new product.
DXR_13KE 11th February 2009, 01:42 Quote
any word about larrabee?
iwod 11th February 2009, 01:57 Quote
I seriously hope Intel does get things right this time around with their GPU. X4500 is Sh*t. Their HD decoding does not even work either. ( Compare to how easy it is on Geforce )
Lazarus Dark 11th February 2009, 02:09 Quote
I know most on here are focused on gaming, but there is still a very dedicated HTPC crowd. I'm almost tempted by the Ion platform, but I'll hold off for these CPU+ GPU procs. Imagine how small an HTPC could be? Integrate a digital OTA TV reciever on an ITX board, add a 500GB 2.5" HDD and slim bluray drive, and you could have a fully functional (even well performing) HTPC in a package the size of a Nintendo Wii, all with absolutely no compromises. And I bet it would cost only 300$USD.

I recently built my mother and sister a multiuse PC with the Nvidia 9300 and an E8500. I use a q6600 and an nvidia 8800GT, and if it weren't for gaming, I'd be a bit jealous of the speedy little comp I built them for less than $400.
Nikumba 11th February 2009, 07:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3mo
I'm waiting for next move from AMD, there is a wise saying - "Intel does it first, AMD does it right".

Ok, so where was AMD "doing it right" after Intel released the CoreDuo/Core2 chips hmmmm????
[USRF]Obiwan 11th February 2009, 08:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikumba
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3mo
I'm waiting for next move from AMD, there is a wise saying - "Intel does it first, AMD does it right".

Ok, so where was AMD "doing it right" after Intel released the CoreDuo/Core2 chips hmmmm????

Still trying to get it right. And while Intel forces you to buy a new motherboard every time a new CPU is released. AMD is winning the hearts of many people who just pop in the new AMD processor in their two year old motherboard and are happy with it.
p3n 11th February 2009, 08:39 Quote
What? AMD have more sockets than you can shake an underperforming processor at...
Xir 11th February 2009, 08:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by haakon.t
I don't get the point with putting a cpu and gpu on the same chip.

Ah..but it's not...it's a multi-chip-package...meaning ist like a small pcb on which they stuck the CPU and seperately the GPU and maybe even an extra controller chip.

The real speedbump (and energysavebump, good for notebooks) should come from an integrated silicon.
[USRF]Obiwan 11th February 2009, 08:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by p3n
What? AMD have more sockets than you can shake an underperforming processor at...

I think it is quite even:

AMD:
A
939
AM2
AM2+
AM3

Intel:
462
478
754
771
775
1366
Burnout21 11th February 2009, 09:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
I think it is quite even:

AMD:
A
939
AM2
AM2+
AM3

Intel:
462
478
754
771
775
1366

You forgot the 940, and 754, 754 was single channel, 940 replaced it with dual channel support, but then 940 was put back and replaced with 939, only to resurface as AM2.


Intergrated graphics with in the CPU package, this is great news for the moblie market, easier to cool aswell as there would only be two hotspots the chip and chipset.

Nvidia showed the ION plateform which was about the size of a PICO, this developement could mean smaller than a PICO with HD playback! awesome! Seems more of a developement for moblie devices like netbooks and HTPC set top boxes.
Nikumba 11th February 2009, 10:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF
Obiwan]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikumba
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3mo
I'm waiting for next move from AMD, there is a wise saying - "Intel does it first, AMD does it right".

Ok, so where was AMD "doing it right" after Intel released the CoreDuo/Core2 chips hmmmm????

Still trying to get it right. And while Intel forces you to buy a new motherboard every time a new CPU is released. AMD is winning the hearts of many people who just pop in the new AMD processor in their two year old motherboard and are happy with it.

Well if they are still trying then someone should get on with it.

Intel has not required a change of socket since the P4 chip. Now considering Core2 was released in July 2006, nearly 3 years ago, and the Core Duo was around for a year or so before that, that is a good 4 years for a socket life.

AMD released socket 939 in June 2004 and was replaced by AM2 in the May of 2006. Now the AM2 socket could only accept upto Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Opteron, Sempron, Phenom. AM2+ was released a YEAR later to accept the Phenom II chips. AM3 is being released this year with support for DDR3.

So in the time intel have had ONE socket on the market for desktops, AMD have had 3, or 4 if you include the AM3.

So it is not unreasonable to except Intel to release a new socket with a new processor.

Kimbie
Horizon 11th February 2009, 12:19 Quote
any one one who start's the "AMD has more sockets than you can shake a stick at" arguement should be flamed to hell and back

@Burnout - you forgot to mention obiwan that obi wan forgot

AMD

Desktop:
Super 7
Slot A
462
754
939
AM2/AM2+
AM3

Server:

940
1207/1207+
G34

Intel

Desktop:

Slot 1
370
423
478
Socket N
LGA 715
LGA 775
LGA 1366

Server:

Socket 8
Slot 2
603
604
LGA 771

So in the time intel have had ONE socket on the market for desktops, AMD have had 3, or 4 if you include the AM3.[/QUOTE]

@Nikumba, I didn't even want to get into chipsets, but your saying i could use a Yorkfield in an 850 board better yet a 975X board, right? Everytime intel changed chipsets it would be the AMD equivalent of adding a + next to the socket name so right now it's really LGA775+++++++++
hawky84 11th February 2009, 12:47 Quote
well this should keep the core whores happy for a little while
n3mo 11th February 2009, 15:03 Quote
You seem to forget that am2 and am2+ are compatible (and the performance differences are very small). First 775 boards could only work with P4 and Celeron, and Intel has WAY more chipset-confusion than AMD. s754 was seen only for a small while, it disappeared so quick that most people didn't bother buying. And those not being ignorant knew from the beginning not to bother with it.

And by the way, take a c2q and do real, server simulations on all cores. As soon as you try to use all cores, individual performance drops dramatically. Do the same with the first Phenom, not to mention the second. You'll be quite surprised. And now check how many of the 10 fastest supercomputers run on Intel chips. Ouch? :) (to those lazy ones - 7 run AMD chips, one runs POWER architecture and only two use Intel - and they are two times bigger and eat three times more power, despite being in the second five)
Burnout21 11th February 2009, 15:27 Quote
I dont really care about sockets.

If it requires a new board, it just means i compare my current machine to the potential upgrade and see if the speed increase is worth it.

Like recently when my board died, i debate for a good two weeks reading reviews between a I7 920 and my Q6600, in the end the cost wasn't worth it. If i was going from a single core 939 system then yeah i would go I7.

Say this technology developement has nothing wrong with it. As i said before, its great news for future netbooks and such devices.
Elledan 11th February 2009, 18:25 Quote
The mainboard logistics of having a combined CPU/GPU seem interesting to me. Quite certain it'd mean another socket...
The_Beast 12th February 2009, 05:58 Quote
It would be cool for even smaller form factor PCs since there would be no GPU
JumpingJack 12th February 2009, 07:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3mo
Clarkdale - now THIS is going to be crap. Intel has a incredibly long tradition of making completely unusable IGPs. And I don't even think about gaming, the 950 is sluggish even with flash. I'm waiting for next move from AMD, there is a wise saying - "Intel does it first, AMD does it right".

In 3D performance, yes... crap it is. However, the bulk of the market is not 3D focused for IGP. While nVidia and AMD IGPs can give > 30 FPS, even these are at resolutions and quality settings not acceptable for even the casual 3D gamer.

IGPs have not been nor never will be a gamer choice HW solution, they lack fundamental capabilities to support high quality gaming. What they should do and do do, even Intel's crappy IGP implementation, is enable a means to provide visual IO to the user for applications that are not 3D intensive. I.e. it needs to be good enough for corporate enterprise to run productivity for workers, as an example. Corporations are not interested if their employees can run Quake 4 at 35 FPS for fun, they are more interested in the ability to run Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Email clients in parallel (which is not a GPU intensive activity).

This is why Intel sells ooooodles of these things, and remains on top as the overall GPU supplier, even above nVidia and AMD/ATI. The corporate market is huge and the drive there is not for 3D Graphics or accelerating HD video.

AMD has indeed provided a much more compelling mobile platform than what they offered in the past, but their high octane 3D graphics HD accelerating IGP has not helped them crack the most lucrative markets as they have lost share in mobile consistently for the past few quarters (even after PUMA). Why? Because the target market does not need nor want the key features AMD is providing. Consumer space, yes perhaps to some degree, but mobile computing is not about gaming in general.
tombmx 13th February 2009, 21:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb2e9
I dont need more than my q6600. In fact I have been thinking of replacing it with a faster dual core that I can overclock farther.
There just isn't the support in games for more than two and I would rather have the higher clock speed.

what about gta IV. runs much better on quad core.
HandMadeAndroid 27th February 2009, 12:37 Quote
Where do folk see the core numbers getting to......16,32,64,128,256,512???
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