INTEL HAS FINALLY taken the covers off its 10-nanometre chips and its goal to get them to market late 2019.
Revealed as part of the chip maker's "Architecture Day", the new CPU architecture is dubbed Sunny Cove and will sit at the heart of next-generation Core and Xeon processors.
There's no word on the capabilities of Sunny Cove and the speed it will enable chips to clock up to, but Intel did promise that Sunny Cove will enable more operations to be carried out in parallel and that latency will be improved. The chip maker also touted Gen11 integrated graphics, which it claimed is "designed to break the 1 TFLOPS barrier".
That's really all we know about Sunny Cove at the moment aside from Intel spouting: "Architectural extensions for specific use cases and algorithms. For example, new performance-boosting instructions for cryptography, such as vector AES and SHA-NI, and other critical use cases like compression and decompression."
Intel also revealed its "Foveros" technology, which allows for the 3D stacking of logic chips. That basically means Intel will be able to make chips that are effectively built out of "chiplets", essentially constructing slices of silicon in a manner one might layer a cake.
This is apparently a "radical re-architecture of systems-on-chips", which might sound like hyperbole but it would be the first time logic chips have been stacked and could enable processors to be specifically built for certain tasks.
"The transistor that's best for a desktop gaming CPU is not necessarily the best transistor for a GPU. Similarly, you need different transistors for running 5G and interconnectivity," Intel's graphics boss Raja Koduri, Intel's chip architect told Wired. "Before, we used to just take the best compromise of all of the silicon. Now, we can take processes that are best for the function and put them all together on a single package. And because we have very high bandwidth between these chips, they will function exactly as if they are a single chip."
Whether this stacking tech will be what has allowed Intel to finally get its 10nm process node in order has yet to be seen. But such stacking could usher in some interesting next-gen chips, and might see Intel drive forward some innovation in the Core CPU line up. µ
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