The Big 3 — Intel, AMD and NVIDIA — have a lot of tech on their plates.
That means they’ll be the leaders in the next generation of processors.
And they’re not shy about sharing that information.
“When we look at the future of the entire computing industry, we’re going to see some really interesting things happen,” Intel president Brian Krzanich told attendees at the International Consumer Electronics Show.
“And I can’t wait to see what happens when we see those kinds of big, new things happen.”
The next-generation Intel Xeon Phi chip will be the first in the company’s line of Xeon Phi-based servers.
It will come with a new form factor, but the company has been touting that it can also run Windows Server and Linux.
AMD has been building Xeon Phi processors for the past three years and is planning to debut the first chip later this year.
NVIDIA’s Kepler architecture will make its first processor, and its Pascal architecture is a new graphics architecture for GPUs.
The next-gen chips are also expected to include a new architecture, called GCN 1.1.
And it’s a move to take advantage of the next-to-no CPU bottleneck, which is the fact that each of these chips uses just one GPU.
Intel and AMD’s chips will all use the same GPU and the same compute cores, but they’ll all be a lot more powerful and faster than their current products.
AMD’s Zen microarchitecture will offer 10 times the performance of the current Zen chips.
Intel’s Xeon Phi processor will be able to handle 4K video and 3D graphics, and the company says the chip will also be able “to drive real-time video, audio, and 3-D rendering with incredible speed.”
Nvidia’s Maxwell architecture will be a four-to-$12-per-core chip with 4K graphics, the first of its kind for a GPU.
And NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture will have a peak compute performance of around 3.4 teraflops.
These new chips will be designed for different applications, so they’ll run on different hardware.
But Intel and AMD are keeping it simple by using the same architecture, which means you won’t see any of these chip’s features being radically different from the current chips.
But it does mean you’ll get new and exciting features like virtualization support, and Intel and Nvidia are promising the new chips are “very capable” of taking advantage of this.
“What you’re going through now is a whole new computing environment,” Krzanichi said.
“So what we’re really going to be looking at is what can you do with that computing environment, and what can we do to make it more productive.”
Intel’s first Xeon Phi server, shown here, is the first to be based on GCN architecture.
(Photo: Intel)The next generation Intel Xeon E3-1220 chips are expected to have an even faster GPU.
The company says it can do 1,600 and 1,800 transistors per die, respectively, with higher clock speeds.
The chip will ship in 2019.
Nvidia’s Pascal will have the same clock speeds as the current GeForce GTX 1070, and AMD is aiming for around 1,000 transistors.
The new chips aren’t expected to be able do anything else than run Linux and Windows Server, but Krzaniich said Intel’s new chips can “do a whole bunch of things.”
“We have to make sure that we’re not putting all our eggs in one basket.
That’s why the new Xeon Phi architecture is so important,” Krzzanich said.
The technology has been under development since the early 1990s.
The first chips will have 20 to 25 cores, with 16 of those cores dedicated to the GPU.
AMD says its next-generation chip will have 64 to 96 cores, while Intel says it will have between 50 and 80 cores.AMD and Nvidia’s chips are said to run on Linux, Windows Server (and possibly some other Linux distributions), and Adobe Creative Cloud.
Both companies say they’re aiming for 10 to 15 percent performance gains over current products on all these platforms.
And Intel and NVIDIA are working to make the new processors more flexible in their software support.
“The next two generations are going to have support for different kinds of hardware.
And that will enable a lot less work for us,” Krzmanich said, “so we can do a whole lot more.”
While Intel and its competitors have been working on new processors for several years, the next wave of processors is expected to begin shipping later this month.
It’s not clear if the chips will run on Windows Server or on Linux.