Intel’s Senior VP and GM of Graphics, Raja Koduri, has admitted why the company turned to TSMC to produce its first Alchemist GPUs instead of using its own ‘7’ production node. When weighing up the cost, performance, and capacity of available nodes, it was decided that “(Intel’s) advanced process did not have sufficient capacity yet.”
This new quote came in an interview with Japanse Site ASCII, which also included a few other choice insights into where Intel is at with its hotly-anticipated graphics processing units. The first discrete cards are expected to drop next year and in the interview, Raja also confirms existing Iris Xe graphics will support XeSS, Intel’s answer to Nvidia’s DLSS, and that it is talking with board partners about making their own cards based on Alchemist.
Will we see a graphics card produced by Intel itself, in the same way we see Founder’s Editions from Nvidia? Raja wouldn’t explicitly say, beyond, “Partners and I think there will be a differentiation of ODM, and that will lead to the ultimate customer interest.” In case you’re wondering ODM stands for Original Design Manufacturing, and here it basically means card manufacturers.
Intel revealed it was using TSMC’s N6 production process at its recent architecture day, but hadn’t explicitly stated why. Intel has struggled to get its 10nm production node, now simply called its ‘7’ node, up to speed, with the as then CEO Bob Swan stating that it was looking at other manufacturing solutions at the end of last year.
Intel has a new CEO now though, Pat Gelsinger, who has returned with a focus on sorting out Intel’s manufacturing woes. Will this mean that Intel will bring its discrete GPU manufacturing back in-house? We’ll have to wait and see, but the follow-up to Alchemist, Battlemage, could potentially use TSMC’s N5 or N4 processes instead.
We’ll hopefully hear more about Alchemist at the Intel Innovation event on October 27–28.