Please note that this post is tagged as a rumor.
According to the report from Reuters, Intel is evaluating the possibility of launching its Xe-HPG graphics processors on the 7nm TSMC fabrication node.
Intel DG2 on TSMC 7nm?
An enhanced TSMC fabrication node is now considered by Intel for its upcoming DG2 GPU. This graphics processor is rumored to be Intel’s first high-end discrete GPU for personal computers and laptops in many years.
The chip, known as “DG2”, will be made on a new chipmaking process at TSMC that has not yet been formally named but is an enhanced version of its 7-nanometer process, the two people familiar with the matter said.
— Stephen Nellis, Reuters
Intel has already confirmed that the DG2 will be manufactured using an external foundry. Intel has only just begun mass producing its Ice Lake Xeon CPUs as well as Tiger Lake mobile CPUs using a 10nm internal node. The company is now considering shifting its production to external foundries for 7nm products in 2022 and beyond.
Intel has a long partnership with TSMC. The head of Mobileye, Intel’s subsidiary focusing on self-driving technologies has told Reuters that the processor for the autonomous vehicle will be manufactured using TSMC 7nm node.
It is currently unclear how much different is the Enhanced 7nm TSMC process over the current 7nm technology, which is used by AMD for its Ryzen CPUs. Earlier rumors have suggested that the new node might be called 6nm, although it has not been confirmed by TSMC yet. According to the same report from Reuters, the 7nm node that DG2 is expected to use, would be ‘more advanced’ than Samsung’s 8nm process that NVIDIA is currently using for its Ampere graphics cards.
Intel DG2 GPU is now rumored to be offered with up 4096 cores (Intel’s Shading Units). The recent driver leak has confirmed that one of the variants might feature 512 Execution Units, each carrying 8 unified cores. The GPU is expected to be paired with either 6GB or 8GB GDDR6 memory. It would be offered for next-generation discrete graphics cards in Tiger Lake-H and Alder Lake-P gaming laptops.
Intel is now expected to unveil its DG2-based graphics cards later this year. However, there was no mention of the GPU during yesterday’s CES 2021 event.
Intel Xe-HPG, Source: Intel
Intel DG2 128 & 512 EU, Source: Intel