Intel is ringing in the new year with Vega graphics. Intel listed the Core i7-8809G with dual Radeon RX Vega M GH and Intel HD Graphics 630 on its India site. The new processors are listed on a page for overclockable processors. Intel has since removed the listing, but we snagged a few screenshots.
Intel shocked the industry when it announced in November 2017 that it was purchasing custom AMD graphics chips for a new MCP (Multi-Chip Package). As we can see below, the new MCP features a processor (right), AMD Vega graphics (center), and HMB2 (left). Intel connects the Vega graphics to the HBM2 via Intel's new EMIB technology. Intel has confirmed it connects the processor to the graphics via a standard PCIe connection.
The four-core eight-thread processor has a 3.1GHz base frequency and comes with 8MB of L3 cache. It supports dual-channel DDR4-2400 memory.Originally, Intel and AMD did not disclose the accompanying graphics architecture, but many predicted it would be Polaris-based. Several clues, such as HBM2 support and a unique power-sharing design that debuted with AMD's Vega-equipped Ryzen Mobile processors, led us to believe it would use Vega graphics.
Intel is pairing Vega with H-Series processors that are traditionally 25-45W. That suggests the processors are headed into high-performance laptops, but Intel's listing points to a 100W target package TDP. For this model, Intel likely allocates the remaining 75-65W power budget to the Vega graphics cores and HBM2 stacks. The 100W TDP also implies this processor will slot into a standard motherboard. The unlocked multiplier is yet another sign that this version of the MCP isn't destined for the mobility segment. Unfortunately, we don't know any details about the Vega graphics, such as the number of CUs or the HMB2 capacity.
The Core i7-8809G may be destined for a desktop near you, but several Core i7 processors with Vega graphics have also appeared in recent 3DMark submissions--but they are listed in HP Spectre x360 convertibles. That means Intel's Vega-based processors will probably be part of a larger family that spans multiple types of devices. Leaked roadmaps have also pointed to an Intel NUC with a 100W processor, which would make for a powerful NUC with beefier integrated graphics. We expect more news around the new NUCs will surface at CES next week.
Intel lists both Vega and HD Graphics 630, so the integrated graphics on the processor are intact and functional. This will allow the processor to use its own graphics and power gate the Vega and HBM2 to preserve energy during lighter graphics workloads, which saves power.
The integrated Intel HD Graphics 630, which was rebranded as "UHD Graphics 630" with Coffee Lake, is a sign that Intel is using a Kaby Lake processor. The company could still throw a curve ball with a Coffee Lake processor. It is noteworthy that the Coffee Lake Core i3 models are also quad-cores that support dual-channel DDR4-2400 memory. Intel is including the 8-series branding with this processor, so we'll have to wait for confirmation.
The mistaken listing on Intel's website is interesting. Intel tends to list concrete specifications on product pages instead of a fuzzy metric like a "Target TDP," which implies the product is still under development. CES is next week, so this teaser may be a fortuitous mistake that helps generate some excitement headed into the show. We've reached out to Intel for comment and the company responded that it will provide more information on the processor soon. Stay tuned.