Upcoming Intel GPU to be compatible with Arm

The data must flow

Intel is diversifying its GPUs to work with architectures other than x86 chips, which could be a step toward making the chip maker a manufacturing-first company.

Intel's upcoming GPU called Ponte Vecchio will be used in supercomputers with Arm-based chips made by company SiPearl.

Those computers will be in production in 2023, Philippe Notton, CEO of SiPearl, told The Register. SiPearl's Arm-based CPUs, called Rhea, also has RISC-V controllers.

There is interest among high-performance customers in Europe for this type of system, Notton said.

Intel a few days ago announced it is putting its Ponte Vecchio GPU in high-performance computers with SiPearl's Rhea CPU, but didn't mention the CPU is based on an Arm Neoverse V1 design.

Intel did not return request for comment on Intel GPU compatibility with Arm processors in PCs and servers.

Ponte Vecchio is also being paired with Xeon Scalable chips code-named on the upcoming Aurora supercomputer, which will deliver two exaflops of performance.

The mega GPU delivers 45 teraflops of FP32 performance. It has close to 100 billion transistors, and is based on a stacked design in which up to 128 graphics Xe graphics cores are closely linked up in a mesh. Detailed specs about the chip are available at The Next Platform.

SiPearl is also developing CPUs to meet the European Union's goal of making indigenous chips and building an exascale supercomputer based on homegrown chips by 2023.

Keeping pipelines flowing

Intel and SiPearl have optimized a low-latency communications pipeline for the CPU and GPU, Notton said. The Compute Express Link interconnect specification facilitates communication between CPUs, GPUs, and other accelerator chips.

Intel is looking to top Nvidia in the GPU, while Arm are looking to catch up with x86 in high-performance computing systems. The claimed world's fastest supercomputer, Fugaku, runs on Arm CPUs with vector extensions. Seven of the remaining Top 10 supercomputers in the Top500 list have Nvidia GPUs with either x86 chips or IBM's Power processors.

Intel's interest in making its GPUs compatible with Arm, and working with SiPearl, could have multiple benefits. Intel could receive more subsidies and funds from the EU to make advanced factories so chips – be it Arm CPUs or its own GPU – can quickly and easily available to regional customers.

Governments are shelling out billions to chip manufacturers to establish fabs in the region, and Intel is investing €80 billion to build factories in Europe. Intel has opened up its manufacturing facilities to also make Arm and RISC-V chips.

Intel factories in Europe would strength the European chip supply, Notton said, adding that it would give his company another option to acquire chips at reasonable cost.

"We don't have any choice right now. It has to be made in Taiwan," Notton said.

SiPearl and Intel are also bridging the software gap between Arm processors and the Intel GPU, Notton said. Intel's OneAPI provides a one-stop-shop for developers to write applications for any chip type or architecture.

"What we are going to do with OneAPI, you will have compliance between OneAPI and Arm architecture," Notton said.

Arm was the only available option for SiPearl to build a supercomputing chip as it licensing options were not available for x86, and RISC-V isn't mature, Notton said. He noted Arm's strong presence in European supercomputing scene with systems like Barcelona Supercomputing Center's Mont Blanc-1, which was introduced in 2015 and considered one of the world's first Arm supercomputers.

But SiPearl is also cranking up work on open-source RISC-V as Arm's European heritage is slipping, Notton said. It was originally a British company, then got acquired by SoftBank, then came Brexit, and it is in the process of being acquired by Nvidia. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021