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High-end CPU and GPU: HPC and cloud gaming are setting the bar for leadership

Extracted from :
(x)PU: high-end CPU and GPU for datacenter applications report, Yole Développement 2020
Intel’s Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) report, System Plus Consulting 2018

Outlines :
• The high-end computing hardware is fueling the key applications in the datacenter space: cloud gaming and HPC.
• Intel, AMD and Nvidia set the market rules, unchallenged over the computing chip market.
• What are the stakes for advanced packaging?

“The last few years have witnessed the rise of the leading-edge GPU(1)/ CPU(2) markets”, announces Yohann Tschudi, PhD. Technology & Market Analyst at Yole Développement (Yole). “This has been driven by a host of datacenter applications, such as exascale computing and AI(3) training.”

Among these, the market research and strategy consulting company Yole has decided to investigate this sector and proposes today a brand new report to HPC(4) as well as cloud gaming: (x)PU: high-end CPU and GPU for datacenter applications report. This analysis also includes supercomputing and HPCaaS(5). This report is part of a series focusing on AI computing where automotive and consumer segments have been covered by Yole’s team.

Under this first report, Yole’s analysts contributes to the understanding of the semiconductor industry by taking a first look at what is happening in the cloud at the high-end technology side in supercomputers and HPC servers. They also provide a detailed description of state-of-the-art computing hardware needed to accomplish demanding computing workloads…

“HPC and cloud gaming are expected to trigger further market growth in the coming years”, explains Simone Bertolazzi, PhD. Technology & Market Analyst at Yole Développement (Yole). “This industry is showing a 29% CAGR(6) between 2019 and 2025, reaching US$34.3 billion at the end of the period”. Yole’s computing & software team offers you today an overview of this industry with key technology challenges, industry evolution and market trends.

High-end CPU and GPU players ecosystem_Yole

The gaming industry has never been in such good shape as today. Boosted by mobile gaming and by increasing revenues from PC gaming, the industry is expected to be worth US$140 billion in 2019. In this favorable environment, cloud gaming is entering as a new platform for streaming a game directly on the preferred consumer device. Out of a total 2.5 billion potential gamers, the computing & software team from Yole expects that cloud gaming will interest above 200 million players by 2025. This will mainly be console gamers that will use cloud gaming through their own device. It will also include transitional gamers that are used to playing on mobile devices and want to have an equivalent experience on their smartphones as they have on their PC/console.
Today, among the leading-edge datacenter applications, cloud gaming is the fastest growing market segment. Yole’s analysts announces more than 70% CAGR from 2019 to 2025 for both CPUs and GPUs. This will make the cloud gaming CPU/GPU market worth US$14 billion in 2025.

Today, only few companies are capable of supplying CPU/GPU chips, among which Intel supplies CPUs, and likely also GPUs in the near term, and fabless players such as NVIDIA supplies GPUs, and while AMD supplies CPUs and GPUs.

3D stacking technologies comparison_Yole

Without counting integrated graphics from Intel, NVIDIA and AMD control nearly 100% of the GPU market.
In recent years, Intel has repeatedly discussed its entrance into the discrete graphics market, with its first Xe chips for the PC space. Intel itself has stated more than once that it is on track to release graphics cards in 2020. Before that, at Supercomputing 2019, Intel has unveiled its Exascale Xe-based GPU named “Ponte Vecchio” targeting HPC and AI training. It will be manufactured on 7nm technology and will be will leverage Intel’s Foveros 3D and EMIB packaging innovations. Intel’s solution has been deeply analyzed by System Plus Consulting in a dedicated reverse engineering & costing report: Intel’s Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge(EMIB).

“Under this report, we have analyzed the Intel Core i7-8809G, which is the eight generation of Intel core i7 processor,” explains Stéphane Elisabeth, Technology & Cost Analyst at System Plus Consulting. And he adds: “The processor features a CPU, a discrete GPU and HBM2(7) on the same package. The GPU is offering a 4GB high bandwidth cache assembled from one 4-Hi HBM2 stack of four DRAM dies, giving almost 200GB/s of bandwidth.”
Whereas NVIDIA and AMD both use interposers with via-middle TSVs, the Intel product uses EMIB technology. “This consists of a silicon bridge buried in the PCB(8) substrate, making the interconnection between the HBM2 stack and the GPU”, details Véronique Le Troadec, Senior Lab Analyst at System Plus Consulting. “The approach has some inherent advantages, such as the ability to implement high-density interconnect without requiring TSVs and to support the integration of many large dies in a large area…”.

Historically, NVIDIA won the GPU market and became a leader in general computing for multiple reasons:
• With a fabless strategy, NVIDIA partnered early on with TSMC which enabled it to avoid immense costs of building and running its own fabs.
• The rise of deep learning and alternate forms of computation changed NVIDIA’s fortunes and enabled it to become a leader in computing in general, not only in the niche gaming market…
Yole and its partner System Plus Consulting investigate the computing sector and step by step propose a relevant analysis of existing technologies and market evolution. The full collection of technology & market analyses and reverse engineering & costing reports is available on i-Micronews.

Amongst the numerous presentations proposed by Yole’s analysts all year long, we invite you to join us at the Brain Inspired Computing Congress 2020 (April 21-22, 2020 – Silicon Valley, CA). Yohann Tschudi, Technology & Market Analyst, Computing & Software at Yole Développement will present: “Neuromorphic computing, a better solution for the future of Artificial Intelligence“.
Before that, analysts propose you an online event focused on emerging NVM: “Will the emerging NVM market continue to soar in 2020 and beyond? – Webcast” on February 27 at 5:00PM. Register today!
Stay tuned on i-Micronews to discover our annual program!

(1) GPU : Graphics Processing Unit
(2) CPU : Central Processing Unit
(3) AI : Artificial Intelligence
(4) HPC : High-Performance Computing
(5) HPCaaS : HPC-as-a-Service
(6) CAGR : Compound Annual Growth Rated
(7) HBM2 : second generation High Bandwidth Memory
(8) PCB : Printed Circuit Board

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