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Intel driver update confirms VPU integration into Meteor Lake

Intel driver update confirms VPU integration into Meteor Lake for AI workload acceleration

Intel (here for more info on the company) yesterday confirmed its plans for extend its Meteor Lake architecture towards paths other than general elaboration. According to Phoronix, Intel has released a new driver that sets the stage for VPU support (Versatile Processing Unit) under Linux. The idea here is that Intel will integrate this VPU into its architecture Meteor Lake of the 14th generation, adding AI inference acceleration capability to its silicon. A surefire way to make huge gains in AI processing, especially in performance / watt. Interestingly, Intel is somewhat following in the footsteps of Apple here. As the company already includes dedicated AI processing cores in its Apple Silicon desktop / laptop processors since the days of the M1.

Intel driver update details with VPU integration into Meteor Lake

L’Intel’s VPU architecture will surely be derived from Movidius projects, which Intel acquired in 2016 for a whopping $ 400 million. It is unclear which Movidius / Intel IP parts will be included in the VPU units to pair with Meteor Lake. It could be a full blown VPU design, similar to SoC (System on Chip) like Myriad X VPU. Or maybe Intel will put together select pieces of the architecture (plus the equivalent of an additional five years of research and development), sprinkling them on top of their upcoming architecture. We know that the VPU itself will include a memory management unit, a microcontroller based on RISC. This is a neural computing system (what exactly this computing system and its sections implies is the mystery part) and on-chip networking capabilities.

Intel’s plans

This move by Intel shows what its plans are as the hardware design specialization will continue (and it’s honestly inevitable). That is, one of the ways Intel can stay competitive is simply integrate as many coprocessors / accelerators into and around its CPUs as possible. There will certainly be losses for some (customers will still have to pay for the additional silicon in each chip, regardless of whether they intend to use all of their capabilities or not). But this strategy represents a likely path for Intel to increase its competitiveness. Of course, it also opens the door to product segmentation (both with the inclusion of the VPU, and allowing it to scale between offerings, just as the company already does in terms of CPU cores).

And you? What do you think of this new Intel driver update confirming VPU integration into Meteor Lake for AI workload acceleration? Let us know with a comment and stay tuned to for more news and reviews from the world of technology (and more!).

The article Intel driver update confirms the integration of the VPU in Meteor Lake comes from allotek.

Published by
Clare Hurwood

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