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AMD developing mega-chip that combines CPUs and GPUs

Agam Shah | May 8, 2015
AMD's yet unnamed high-performance chip will be designed for high-end graphics, supercomputing and data modeling.

The chip seems to have the big memory throughput needed to feed data to a large numbers of CPU and GPU cores, said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

But when doing a massive amount of computing, it's challenging to put parts like a CPU and GPU in one package, McGregor said.

There could be problems related to balancing power consumption and performance as GPUs are power hogs that generate a lot of heat. That could severely limit the server design, which would hinge on components to help cool down the high-performance chip.

But AMD may already have orders to make such chips, and perhaps sees a long-term opportunity, McGregor said.

AMD's rivals are taking a different approach. Instead of integrating a GPU, Nvidia's high-performance Tesla GPU is offered as a co-processor alongside CPUs. Nvidia toyed with the idea of integrating a Tesla-like GPU in its Tegra chips, but dropped the idea. Intel is pairing a bunch of vector processing cores alongside generic low-power x86 chips in its Knights Landing chip, which can deliver over 3 teraflops of performance.

 

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