Intel shows off new Arctic Sound M graphics chips for the datacenter

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Intel unveiled its latest Arc family graphics chips at its Intel Vision event today. The chips use the Intel Xe architecture, and these ones are scaling from the client to the datacenter.

The flexible graphics chips will be used in the datacenter for cloud gaming, media processing and delivery, virtual desktop infrastructure, and inference tasks. Intel said this kind of chip is what datacenters will need to deliver metaverse experiences.

The product leverages the same Xe architecture and adds new reliability features for the datacenter. It will come out in the third quarter.

The Arctic Sound M has two versions, one operating at 75 watts and another at 150 watts. It can support more than 30 1080p streams, 40 game streams, and 62 virtualized versions. It has 32 Xe cores and ray-tracing units.

The Intel Arctic Sound was first disclosed in February and Intel shared more details on it today. Intel has 15 customers for the products, including Dell, Inspur and Cisco.

Intel previously introduced its Alchemist graphics chips earlier this year. Among those earlier revealed and available today, Intel’s larger graphics chip is the ACM-G10 with 32 Xe cores, and the smaller one is the ACM-G11 with eight cores. They both leverage the same software and media engine for decoding and encoding video. A discrete graphics desktop model is coming in the summer.

Project Endgame

The Matrix Awakens artificial city. It's free with Unreal Engine 5.The Matrix Awakens artificial city. It's free with Unreal Engine 5.
The Matrix Awakens artificial city. It’s free with Unreal Engine 5.

Raja Koduri, chief architect at Intel, said at the event that the company’s silicon roadmap is geared toward to address applications such as the metaverse. He mentioned Project Endgame, which is about providing continual compute for the metaverse. He showed a demo running Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 at a very slow framerate on an ordinary PC.

After turning on the continual compute infrastructure, which looks for compute power in the cloud (or within the latency requirements of the experience), then the demo in the Matrix Awakens city becomes much more fluid and realtime. Koduri said that experience is perhaps four to five years away.

“This new neural net requires a doubling of compute every few months,” Koduri said.

Intel has partnered with Argonne National Laboratory to build the 2-exaflop Aurora supercomputer using Intel’s Ponte Vecchio graphics chips. There are six such chips on a single card and lots of blades across the supercomputer, with 60,000 Ponte Vecchio chips across the 10,000 nodes in the supercomputer.

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