In November, Intel detailed its ambition for a supercomputer with Ponte Vecchio - a 7 nm GPU built with Intel Xe architecture. Now, Intel’s new data center graphics card has appeared in pre-alpha form, according to an EEC registration, right in front of the 2021 launch window.
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The Ponte Vecchio RVP GPU (reference validation platform) is probably a long way from the Xe chip that will one day reach the US Department of Energy's Aurora supercomputer in 2021; - equipped with Intel Xe, OneAPI and Sapphire Rapids Xeon processors. It is not yet possible to say which state Ponte Vecchio is in. All we know is that Intel is working on the “V5” version of the possible GPU.
The EEC listing confirms three variants of a Ponte Vecchio RVP AIC card: GAPV3KI2TC, GAPV4KI2TC and GAPV5KE2TC. All three are listed as "pre-alpha".
At the core of Ponte Vecchio is Intel Xe, the comprehensive graphics architecture defined for its first public launch with Tiger Lake chips and probably a discrete GPU later this year.
Will Intel Ponte Vecchio be a viable product for the consumer?
Ponte Vecchio differs from these consumer parts in two ways, however. On the one hand, it was built using the complete Intel Xe-HPC architecture; as opposed to the subsets of the Xe-HP and Xe-LP architecture for professional and gaming applications. He specializes in modeling, simulation and AI workloads.
And while Intel Tiger Lake and its friends are planned for the 10 nm process node, Ponte Vecchio will be 7 nm. So, it must also incorporate many of Intel's developing technologies; such as Foveros 3D and EMIB packaging technology and CXL-based Xe Link interconnection.
Of course, Intel has set high goals for Intel Xe, combining many technologies that have not yet been tested and not tested into one product and establishing a brief window to do so. But, whatever the state that Ponte Vecchio may be in today, these pre-alpha plates are a sign of movement by the graphics team Xe; after a silent patch on the CES mat.