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Intel and AMD team up: A future Core chip will have Radeon graphics inside

Mark Hachman | Nov. 7, 2017
Absolutely incredible! Intel will ship a chip powered by AMD's Radeon graphics next year to bring top-tier, triple-A games to the thin-and-light notebook market.

“As we drive mainstream thin and light to 15mm and lower, the Intel UHD solution is still the market leader in terms of how graphics gets delivered on a PC platform,” Walker added. Nor has Intel licensed the EMIB technology to AMD, he said.

AMD representatives went further, stating that there is no patent or IP licensing in place between the two firms at all.

 

What’s next? Answering the questions

Unfortunately, we still don’t know the answers to several basic questions: How fast will these new cores run? How many variants of these new Core-Radeon chips will there be? What Intel Core architecture—Kaby Lake, or Kaby Lake-R—are they based upon? Does HBM2 memory confirm that the Radeon core is based upon the AMD “Vega” architecture, and how does it compare to existing chips? How much memory is inside the package? Will the new Core-Radeon modules incorporate AMD-specific features such as VSR, Eyefinity, and Async Compute? And, of course, how much will it all cost?

The latter two questions can be answered in broad strokes. The idea, according to an AMD representative, is that these notebooks won’t be priced in the value segment at all, but in the neighborhood of $1,200 to $1,400 apiece. Meanwhile, Intel executives say that notebook PCs based on the new H-series, Core-Radeon modules will move gaming-class graphics down from systems 26mm thick, to thin-and-light PCs at 16mm and even 11mm thick — that’s slimmer than the original 13-inch Apple MacBook Air, and priced accordingly. (To get a sense of just how thin this is, see our 2012 review of the Acer Aspire S5. A laptop based on the Core-Radeon module would be far, far more powerful, however.) 

An AMD representative also said that there’s nothing prohibiting any AMD graphics technology like VSR from being included in the Core-Radeon chip—but that in terms of specifics, it’s up to Intel to decide. 

According to Intel representatives, we’ll get more of those answers closer to launch. For now, however, there’s the simple surprise that the two sides came together to make this happen. For those who have watched the acrimonious AMD-Intel relationship play out in court, in the market, and behind closed doors for several decades, even a limited contract seemed out of the realm of possibility. But now, who knows what the future holds?

Updated at 12:20 PM to add a reference to Kaby Lake G.

IDG Insider

 

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