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My theory - iGPUs/Media blocks coming to Intel server chips starting Cannonlake

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
7,250
1,839
136
Why do I think this way? We're increasingly in an era where one size fits all is not enough. Intel will not be able to rely just on general purpose CPUs and cores for servers anymore. They will have to add in functionality and blocks that currently differentiate FPGA/GPU/Coprocessors from CPUs.

I believe Cannonlake will start adding iGPU/Media blocks on server CPUs. First, a picture from Intel's Purley slide: https://www.nextplatform.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/intel-kdm-roadmap-2.jpg

"Optional Integrated Accelerators"
-QuickAssist encryption and compression offloads
-Skylake + FPGA
-Cannonlake graphics and media transcode

If that's not a confirmation from Intel, there's this: http://www.intelserveredge.com/intelvca/

"The Intel® Visual Compute Accelerator card integrates three Intel® Xeon® E3 processors with Intel® IrisTM Pro graphics and Intel® Media Server Studio-enabled hardware accelerated video processing into a PCIe* card form factor that fits into Intel® Xeon® processor E5-based servers."

There must have been quite a demand for such a product to exist. Now putting 3 Xeon E3 chips into a PCI Express card seem like a very barbaric solution, but they may be preparing for what's coming. Putting an Iris Pro class block to Xeon E5/E7 die variations would be just that.

It seems 3D graphics-wise, Intel aren't too interested in greatly advancing their iGPUs since Haswell. But what seems like an inefficient engine for graphics might have been a very compelling product for media server product above to exist. It seems natural that they would further advance into that. If Intel can't make a product that's a top tier one compared to AMD/Nvidia(more latter, because they are with no question perf/watt leader), there's no point in putting a lot of resources into top 3D performing GPUs. Why not focus on where the money is?

The E5 chips are also available in 1P configurations as well. The equivalent consumer chip is used on the HEDT platform. We'll no doubt see it there, meaning iGPU/Media for their entire line of CPUs.
 

PliotronX

Diamond Member
Oct 17, 1999
8,886
107
106
Well the thread title omitted the media from media server. I hope its kept out of general xeon models as the pricing is already inflated as it is without a lame iGPU. The second link is basically an ASIC (dGPU fair to say?) so I don't get the point.
 

gbeirn

Senior member
Sep 27, 2005
450
13
81
Well since Intel graphics are good enough for basic 3D accelerated desktop and hardware accelerated video being able to virtualize that and split a single iGPU among multiple hosts would be great for my ( and other certain) use cases.

Using GVT-g
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,386
327
126
I feel like AMD should come up with a response to GVT. If they applied something wholesale to all their cards they could easily make Intel's version look like a inflexible pretender. I have no idea how big the market is for that feature, but I think it could become a big deal.
 

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