Intel and AMD team up for new 8th Gen Core processor

Intel introduces a new product in the 8th Gen Intel Core processor family that combines high-performance CPU with discrete graphics for a thin, sleek design. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Two weeks ago, AMD unveiled its Ryzen Mobile processors for laptops, promising superior graphics performance for ultra-slim devices. Now, it’s Intel’s turn, as it’s just announced a brand-new 8th Gen Core processor that aims to deliver that same premium gaming experience for devices measuring less than 16mm thick. The clincher? AMD’s the one providing the onboard graphics. Funny how these things work out, isn’t it?

Using a new semi-custom graphics chip, Intel’s new 8th Gen Core H-series processor should, in theory, be able to run AAA games without the need for a bulky gaming laptop, the companies claim. We’ll have to wait and see how it pans out in practice, of course, but if it brings us closer to playing Assassin’s Creed Origins on the train without cutting the hypothetical throat of our laptop’s battery life, then I’m all for it.

The reason why we haven’t seen laptops like this before is because this new chip is based on Intel’s ‘Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge’ (EMIB) design. This uses a tiny amount of silicon, reducing its footprint to “less than half that of standard discrete components on a motherboard,” according to Intel. It also incorporates a new power-sharing framework, making everything that much more efficient.

Combine that with onboard HBM2 memory, which uses less power and takes up less space than your typical GDDR5 memory, and this new chip should give manufacturers a lot more freedom when it comes to designing new types of devices, including laptops, tablet hybrids, and mini desktops. Intel expects the first EMIB devices to start arriving by the end of March next year, but all other details, including which manufacturers will be making them and how much these new laptops are going to cost, are still thin on the ground. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we know more.

10 Comments

  1. Sakkura says:

    The “onboard graphics” from AMD is essentially more like a dedicated graphics chip. So that gets AMD back into the laptop competition against Nvidia’s mobile GPUs. The HBM2 is expensive, but takes up much less space and uses less power than the GDDR5 or GDDR5X Nvidia relies on.

  2. peterako1989 says:

    Yup. Intel graphics are awful at all levels.

  3. mattevansc3 says:

    This sounds like its going to be hitting the top end so would likely only be in devices such as the Surface Book or Surface Studio.

    Though with the improved screen projection settings in Win10 we could see a return to the PC in a keyboard form factor from the 80’s.

  4. fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

    It will be interesting to see how it stacks up(literally, in the case of the multi chip module):

    Board footprint will certainly be lower than normal discrete GPU; and power efficiency likely better(shared power management/supply circutry between CPU and GPU, interconnect is shorter than a PCIe link that goes partway across the motherboard, so can presumably be run at lower power for the same data rates. Power/performance will still rely on the GPU architecture being good; so a sufficiently superior dGPU might edge it out; but in comparable GPU cases the integrated one will edge it out); the question is ‘who is Intel gunning for?’ and ‘what will it end up actually replacing?’

    It certainly seems to be an admission that even the ‘iris’ graphics versions with the extra cache aren’t really good enough, so unless the extra GPU is rather power hungry and throttles/idles poorly it is hard to see why that option would remain in the lineup(there will quite probably still be higher and lower end Intel IGPs; but the ‘iris’/’iris pro’ ones that require a discreet eDRAM package seem unlikely to remain).

    It will presumably also take a bite out of the laptops with relatively low end discrete GPUs; hard to justify the extra board space and cooling system complexity in that case.

    What will be more interesting to see is what it does vs. Ryzen mobile parts; certainly helps neutralize the GPU advantage, but overall price and power/performance aren’t known yet.

    What would also be interesting to know is if this is Intel’s idea, or if someone requested it of them. Apple is sort of the obvious candidate: they clearly dislike anything that adds bulk(like discrete GPUs); but also like screen resolutions that are pretty rough for Intel IGPs to drive adequately; especially for anything but the lightest 3d stuff. If any OEM demanded it, it would likely be them; though unlikely to be an exclusive even if so.

    • ThTa says:

      Leaks from a few months ago seem to suggest they’ll have two SKUs. One with a combined TDP of 65W, and one with 100W. It seems the primary concern is indeed decreasing board size, which would suit thinner (but not fanless) laptops like the Macbook Pro and Dell XPS lines. (Especially the 13″ models.)

      Intel’s own announcement claims that current laptops with discrete GPUs are 26 mm high on average, while those with integrated solutions are 16 mm on average (down to 11 mm for some). It seems they’re trying to reach parity with those.

      Those same leaks (search for “Kaby Lake G”) also posited that the dGPU would have 24 CUs, 4GB of HBM2 and have 3.3 teraflops of single-point precision peak compute. Which would put it right in between the current RX 560 and RX 570 dGPUs. (And make it fall a bit short of the current mobile GTX 1060.)

      • Sakkura says:

        Hmm. I’d have hoped for half a Vega chip to go with half the HBM2. Then it would have had the same GPU configuration as the RX 570.

  5. Vilos Cohaagen says:

    Good luck to them. More competition is better for us. I’m certainly interested to have an alternative option to Intel gfx.

  6. Robstafarian says:

    We’ll have to wait and see how it pans out in practice, of course, but if it brings us closer to playing Assassin’s Creed Origins on the train without cutting the hypothetical throat of our laptop’s battery life, then I’m all for it.

    In that context, the word “hypothetical” is nonsensical. That said, the implication that we all share a communal laptop is also rather strange.

  7. Korvre says:

    time to watch intel screw amd over again, did they forget what happened last time they partnered with intel?

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