According to recent rumours Intel have signed a licensing deal to use AMD GPU technology in their processors. I’ve got a feeling Nostradamus might have mentioned this in one of his apocalyptic prophecies.
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Before you get too excited about red and blue silicon sitting on the same chip, dogs and cats living together or peace in the Middle East, this is unlikely to mean a Vega GPU sitting cheek-by-jowl with Intel’s Core architecture.
Intel currently have a licensing deal with Nvidia which was put in place back in 2011 as a way to stop the two companies suing the tech out of each other. It’s cost Intel around $1.5bn over the years and understandably they’re looking to ditch it once the deal runs dry in March 2017.
There have been rumours since March of this year that AMD might step into the breach and allow Intel to use their intellectual property to prop up the graphics side of their processors. Because AMD have spun the CPU and GPU sides of the business out into separate companies again you could argue that it’s not a conflict of interest for AMD to jump into bed with Intel silicon.
The deal has come to light again with HardOCP editor-in-chief, Kyle Bennett, posting on their forums that “the licensing deal between AMD and Intel is signed and done for putting AMD GPU tech into Intel’s iGPU.”
Obviously this isn’t the same as Lisa Su and Brian Krzanich stepping out, arm-in-arm, and proclaiming their technological love for all the world to see, but it does seem credible. And it also makes sense for Intel to be looking to facilitate the graphics side of their business with help from one of the two key players in the market. Especially as they seem to be done with the other…
What it doesn’t mean though is Intel using actual AMD silicon in their own chips, but more likely using different GPU instruction sets they previously licensed from Nvidia instead. It’s kind of like how AMD uses Intel’s SSE instruction set for their own x86 processors and Intel continue to use some of AMD’s CPU IP. Sharing and caring.
But still, interesting seeing these two buddying up together. Leaves a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, don’t it?