Remember two months ago when Intel tweeted an image of a huge, mysterious chip? Well, we still don't know exactly what that chip is, but Intel is back again teasing something even bigger. Well, rather, Intel's Raja Koduri is here, showing off his (we quote) "big 'fabulous' package."
BFP - big ‘fabulous’ package😀 pic.twitter.com/e0mwov1Ch1June 25, 2020
Of course, we still don't know exactly what this chip is, but there is room to speculate. Nor the last chip, nor this one are at all likely to be products that could also show up in non-socketed consumer graphics cards, competing with AMD and Nvidia in the ultra-high-end space of the best graphics cards. With chips this big, they're bound to be HPC products aimed at scientific and data center use, where performance vs. cost becomes a carefully balanced equation that absorbs extreme costs for individual parts.
It looks to measure about 80 by 80 mm (with a margin of error), and we would expect a huge GPU, along with numerous HBM2 or HMB2e stacks to be lurking on the interposer, underneath the heatspreader.
This huge chip is undoubtedly a creation based on Intel's Xe graphics architecture (as proven by this tweet showing the huge chip under water). The amount of silicon underneath that heatspreader would be so huge, it would no longer be economically viable for consumers in any way, shape, or form -- not that Xe graphics is meant to compete in the consumer space anyway.
Looking at the image of the GPU under water, you’ll notice the sheer number of springs keeping the cold plate pressed against the die surface. This shows that bowing becomes a huge issue when chip packages get this big. The cooler also mentions ATS-4T at the top (as spotted by Komachi Ensaka (opens in new tab)), possibly referring to Arctic Sound - 4 tiles.
Rumor has it that the big HPC Xe GPUs will come with tiled layouts, featuring either one, two, or four performance tiles. Based on the sizes, we reckon this is the biggest Xe GPU of them all with all four tiles, with Koduri's last tease showing off the two-tile product.
Nevertheless, only time will tell what this massive, socketed GPU really is, and who it is for. For all we know, Intel is simply showing off what it can build, instilling fear in both AMD and Nvidia.