Intel and AMD team up to integrate Radeon graphics with a Core CPU

Intel - AMD
Intel - AMD

The rival chip manufacturers have announced a partnership that will see Intel produce a chip that combines an Intel CPU with an AMD graphics chip. The resulting chip will take advantage of a new process that should allow Intel and AMD to bring more robust graphics power to lightweight notebooks.

The goal, Intel explains, is to deliver the power that discrete graphics offer, but in a thinner package. To do this, Intel says it will rely on a new technology called Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB), which it says can reduce the average silicon footprint to "less than half that of standard discrete components on a motherboard" by combining the CPU and discrete graphics into a single processor package. From Intel:

At the heart of this new design is EMIB, a small intelligent bridge that allows heterogeneous silicon to quickly pass information in extremely close proximity. EMIB eliminates height impact as well as manufacturing and design complexities, enabling faster, more powerful and more efficient products in smaller sizes. This is the first consumer product that takes advantage of EMIB.

In this case, Intel says it will opt for combining one of its eighth-generation Core H-series processors with a semi-custom graphics chip from AMD.

The partnership may seem like an odd one, but it makes sense from the standpoint of countering NVIDIA. AMD has already seen a resurgence in 2017, stoking competition with its chief graphics rival with new Radeon Vega graphics cards that can compete with NVIDIA at the high-end. And while it may not directly compete from a graphics standpoint, Intel is still facing potentially stiff competition from NVIDIA in the machine learning space.

Laptops using this new chip could give manufacturers a significant boost in power while dedicating more space to other components or slimming devices down. As for Intel and AMD, the chip gives the two firms a potential leg up over chunkier laptops that pack NVIDIA discrete graphics.

There's no word on an exact release date, but Intel says it expects manufacturers to begin shipping systems based on the new chip at some point in the first quarter of 2018. For now, have a glance at our overall roundup of the best graphics cards available now.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Is it April 1st already? Pretty suprising news although I'm all for cheaper and faster integrated designs.
  • It has been under work for more then 2 years now, you must be living under rock :D
  • Apparently. Thanks and have a great day.
  • Hah, that's great. Intel is now awake!
  • Crazy they would pick AMD over NVIDIA for this kind of cooperation since AMD is more of a direct competitor on the CPU side. 
  • I'm sure they went for the best combination. They don't want just speed. They want the best price-performance-size-heat-consumption-etc, and radeon was the winner.
  • Nvidia doesn't use HBM that could be what influenced their decision. Besides nvidia has already countered this with the Max-Q design which is partly why a 1060 ended up in the Surface Book 2 I think.
  • nvidia is much more dangerous to intel than amd right now. amd has zen, yes but it will have to show if they can keep up the competition and they have a tiny market share at the moment that will take years to grow.
    nvidia is all in on everything but the dedicated server cpus (and even there they are stepping in with arm solutions, though on a lower end). they have the autonomous car market, deep learning market ... pretty much everything that needs specialized cgpu solutions.
    amd can go into that market too but they have next to no budget compared to nvidia or intel so they are by far the better choice for intel right now.
  • .
  • This is ALL ABOUT the MS Windows 10 on ARM project and Apple's own CPU/Modem initiative. Next year MS is rolling out the W10 on ARM with C-Shell GUI that runs NATIVE win32 apps on Qualcomm 835 or newer mobile CPUs. This will give them 80% of the performance of a dedicated nVidia GPU + Intel CPU pair at only 20% of the power requirements.
    Apple is working hard on cutting the cord between themselves and Qualcomm where modems are concerned, currently using Intel modems on some iPhones, but long-term they are going to do ALL of their CPU/GPU/Modem work in-house. This is why Apple and Qualcomm are suing each other up the wazzoo right now. Intel has nothing to answer this at this time as their GPU is slow and power-hungry and their low power CPUs are hamstrung by it. Their standalone modems are slow and buggy and have no future in a SOC world.
    They see the handwriting on the wall and are panicking. This whole contraption smacks of desperation to keep market-share more than anything else.
  • This is a very interesting as well as intriquing cooperation and I wondering could this have to do with Windows On Arms type devices... With this much engineering talent this could very well be some very intriging products as a result and for hopefully those will be all Window10 products.
  • ATATI used to supply low end motherboard chipsets to intel before its takeover by AMD. The marriage ended soon. It was of course a horrible performer. Why would anyone think it would be any better this time around? I have had nothing but driver problems with Radeon graphics even on AMD platform motherboards.
  • I see some similar xbox scorpio tech there :)
  • I wonder what generation of AMD IGP they will use. Nothing says it will be Vega based....
  • This is all building towards untethered VR. I like it.
  • I don't get it. What is the point of this? It only makes the mobo smaller. Yes you can now do AI and mine bitcoins thru OPENCL on an Intel Ultrabook now but so what? I've read the piece at Anandtech, which gave a bit more insight and Calbro's comment above "This is a very interesting as well as intriquing cooperation and I wondering could this have to do with Windows On Arms type devices..." A Snapdragon 835 based Windows 10 tablet/laptop would not come close to the performance of a Core H CPU, even though the Adreno GPU is superior to Intel Graphics. Unless Intel pair the Radeon to a Core m CPU and the target workload is VR. That will make a bit more sense. This is be in the 15/20W tablet range, instead of 25-35W for Ultrabooks. It also don't make sense to be a part for Hololens v3. The die is too big and it's not packaged as a SoC. SO atm, I can't think of a place to put this in until more specs are released.
  • Am loving this partnership, can only mean better, faster more capable hardware, I reckon Intel may buy AMD in future, what do you think? worth buying AMD stock!
  • Intel is not allowed to buy AMD, monopoly rules. This partnership sums up 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend', they both want Nvidia out of the x86 game
  • AMD Radeon already rock on the laptop chipsets. NVidia graphics will become abandon on laptops.
  • I have burned my hand very badly with AMD Radeon graphics on AMD platform motherboards. I doubt they can do better combining it with Intel chipset. In fact it was so bad that on a couple of machines where the client had addon Radeon graphics cards it was easier to backup all the data, do a fresh install of the OS and the apps and restoring backup than to remove the drivers.  So only option left to me would be to wait for Windows to be released on ARM platform.
  • For comments like this, when I use something from AMD it surprises me in a good way.
  • I'm wondering if AMD will be using this technology with thier new low power Ryzen chips for laptops?