Intel’s 7nm Xe Graphics Cards In Pre-Alpha Testing Stage

We first heard of Intel’s supercomputer ambitions for the future when the Ponte Vecchio GPU was first announced. 

What Is Ponte Vecchio?

Intel’s Ponte Vecchio is a 7nm GPU that has been built with Intel Xe architecture. This is the same type of Xe architecture which will be released to consumers in the Tiger Lake chips as a discrete GPU this year. So, this will give us a first glimpse into what Ponte Vecchio will be like – although we probably won’t be seeing the same level of performance in our own PC builds. 

Ponte Vecchio will differ from consumer chips for a number of reasons. One way it differs is that it will be built using Intel Xe-HPC architecture instead of Intel Xe-HP or Xe-LP which are used for gaming or professional uses. Intel’s Xe-HPC instead specializes in simulation, modeling, and AI workloads. 

Ponte Vecchio is also expected to use many technologies that Intel is currently developing including EMIB packaging tech, Foveros 3D and CXL-based Xe Link interconnect. 

What Does The EEC Listing Say?

This new Ponte Vecchio GPU has now entered pre-alpha, appearing in registration on the EEC. This appearance is way ahead of schedule when we were expecting it to be released in 2021. 

The EEC listing confirms that there will be three variants of the Ponte Vecchio RVP AIC, named: GAPV3KI2TC, GAPV4KI2TC, and GAPV5KE2TC. All of these listings say they are “pre-alpha”.

What Can We Expect From Ponte Vecchio?

Intel’s Ponte Vecchio is miles away from what we already expect from Intel’s Xe graphics. It’s expected to one day end up in the US Department of Energy’s supercomputer next year. This supercomputer, called Aurora, will be powered by Intel Xe, Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs, and OneAPI.

We don’t yet know much about how far Ponte Vecchio is in the process. However, we do know that Intel is working on up to a “V5” version of the GPU.

All in all, Intel has some big, ambitious plans with Ponte Vecchio and this new listing confirms that it’s all going ahead as expected (if not faster).