Intel Falcon Shores to launch in 2025 as a GPU-only solution

Published: May 22nd 2023, 17:37 GMT   Comments

Intel Falcon Shores to launch in 2025 as a GPU-only solution

Intel explains the decisions behind HPC roadmap changes.

After axing Rialto Bridge, Intel has changed its plans for Falcon Shores. Instead of what was initially announced as XPU (a product combining CPU and GPU cores), Falcon Shores will launch as a GPU only product. This is a clear change from what Intel was preparing as a response to AMD MI300, a next-gen CDNA3/Zen4 hybrid also known as ‘exascale APU’ and NVIDIA’s Grace-Hooper.

Intel clarified that the Falcon Shores GPU will be part of the Max GPU series, and it will feature HBM3 memory. It will be a modular tile-based design like Ponte Vecchio, and it will also offer a single GPU programming interface. What today’s announcements also means is that Ponte Vecchio will remain as Intel’s best HPC GPU solution until 2025.

Intel Data Center GPU (Falcon Shores), Source: Intel

The company did not outline a successor for its Gaudi AI chip, but instead is proposing a Falcon Shores as a successor to both Gaudi3 and Ponte Vecchio. Tom’s Hardware speculates that this means that Gaudi architecture will not be fully integrated, but some parts will be incorporated into the Falcon Shores chip.

As for the reasons for the changes to Falcon Shores, Intel explains that the company’s strategy for HPC products is to offer two separate product lines for now, which should provide more flexibility. Intel is not axing its plans for HPC XPU, but it will not be part of the initial Falcon Shores launch.

For the ISC 2023 presentation, Intel is providing some benchmarks for its Max 1550 GPU 600W data-center GPU. The company is comparing its flagship GPU with NVIDIA H100 Hooper GPU based on PCIe interface. This version of NVIDIA GPU has a TDP of 350W, so it may change the perspective once one accounts how much power both chips use, notes editor from HardwareLuxx.

Intel Data Center GPU Max 1550 (Ponte Vecchio) vs NVIDIA H100 PCIe (Hopper), Source: Intel

Source: ComputerBase, Tom’s Hardware, HardwareLuxx

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