Intel AXG on Falcon Shores Arctic Sound-M and Future Products at 2022 Investor Meeting

Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG Arctic Sound M

Intel has a big business in the works, especially the Intel AXG business for its accelerated computer systems and graphics. It’s a small business today, but one Intel aims to grow rapidly over the next four years to become a revenue stream of around $10 billion. As part of the event, Intel also discussed Falcon Shores, a part that was briefly touched on in November 2021. Let’s get to some of the announcements.

Intel AXG Growth Opportunity

Intel is focused on having PFLOPS, the measure of today’s supercomputers, available in devices by around 2026. This means that the entire stack will need a rapidly evolved computational architecture to achieve this.

Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG Key Takeaways
Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG Key Takeaways

Intel sees a TAM of $155 billion compared to $7 billion in 2012 and $85 billion today. This rate of growth is also what fuels NVIDIA’s earnings and is the case of a rising tide lifting all ships in the industry. Intel is taking this market seriously, with products, in 2022. Sure, it’s taken years to get here, but it’s easier to sell silicon packages than ideas (NFT notwithstanding).

Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG TAM Growth
Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG TAM Growth

What’s interesting here is that Intel places media in its Super Compute segment and has a CAGR of 23%. Of that $155 billion TAM in 2026, $100 billion is for hardware components. Perhaps the most interesting part is really that Visual Compute, which includes games and content creation, has a relatively small CAGR and TAM. While Intel is getting into the gaming market, that’s not where it thinks the big bucks are.

2022 Intel Investor Meeting 2026 AXG TAM Opportunities
2022 Intel Investor Meeting 2026 AXG TAM Opportunities

One implication of the above, and that Intel is only targeting $10 billion in revenue of that $155 billion, is that the overall acceleration market will grow from $85 billion today to $155 billion. . If Intel takes $10 billion, that means there’s $65 billion for the others.

A big part of that journey is Intel’s IDM 2.0. Intel is moving to tiles and the ability to leverage external foundries and IP to create the tiles it needs to integrate into next-generation solutions.

Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG IDM 2.0
Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG IDM 2.0

Overall, Intel builds tiles with defined interfaces so that they can mitigate manufacturing risks and deliver new technologies to market. A big part of this is being able to customize the tiles that go into customers and segments so that there is alignment between IP needs and what is being packaged and delivered.

For a food example, Intel previously built chips like take-out lunch boxes that had fairly defined configurations. In the future, Intel will be able to offer more of a Chinese American dining experience where a customer chooses what they want.

Intel AXG Product Roadmap

Part of today’s announcement is that Intel believes it will ship 4 million Intel Arc Alchemist GPUs in 2022.

Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG Arc Alchemist
Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG Arc Alchemist

We’ll cover more about it as it rolls out to the desktop and workstation segments later this year. Meteor Lake will allow tiled GPUs to be integrated into packages which should enable higher performance integrated graphics. Project Endgame will allow users and developers to use GPUs as a service and we’ll know more later in 2022.

Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG Persistent Immersive Web
Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG Persistent Immersive Web

Growing bigger, over 80% of global traffic is video. This creates a huge demand in the data center. The sheer scale of this means that companies like Google have a VCU video encoding unit just to do the transcoding, and that’s a huge area.

Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG Media Super Compute Video
Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG Media Super Compute Video

Intel is building a software solution around this. For those hoping to see an NVIDIA competitor for video transcoding and virtual desktops in the data center (especially since GRID prices have recently increased), this may be the industry’s best hope.

Intel 2022 AXG Media Super Compute Video 2 Investor Meeting
Intel 2022 AXG Media Super Compute Video 2 Investor Meeting

Intel Arctic Sound-M is designed for video transcoding and virtual desktops. Intel says it also works for cloud gaming. Arctic Sound-M has an AV1 hardware encoding engine which is more efficient for streaming.

Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG Arctic Sound M
Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG Arctic Sound M

The next part of Intel’s conference is very much in line with our November 2021 article: Raja’s chip notes lay out Intel’s path to Zettascale. Here is the video for that:

As an interesting aside, this was a very popular web article for STH, but the video ran into a technical issue which caused it to be re-uploaded and therefore it was not a popular video. I use it now to discuss the difference between STH web and video audiences.

Intel is pushing to get to Zettascale computing by 2027 and has a number of vectors to get there.

Intel 2022 Investor Meeting AXG Technology Pipeline
Intel 2022 Investor Meeting AXG Technology Pipeline

Here is the note of my discussion on Raja. The new slide is a more refined version of Raja’s notes on Doritos and beers. You will see that Data Movement is now Memory and I/O.

Raja Chip notes Intel's path to Zetta scale
Raja’s chip notes Intel’s path to Zetta ladder

As part of this discussion, Raja presented the Zettascale access phases. These Phases are now “waves”.

Raja Chip notes Intel HPC 2022 2028 strategy
Raja Chip notes Intel HPC 2022 2028 strategy

Wave 1 uses current 2022-2023 technology. This year we get the Intel Xeon Sapphire Rapids and Ponte Vecchio GPUs.

Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG SC Wave 1 2022
Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG SC Wave 1 2022

Later in the Investor Meeting, we’ll discuss the next-gen Xeon, but that piece will be in place before we can share the updated roadmap. Still, think of the 2023 products as a refinement of the 2022 Sapphire Rapids and Ponte Vecchio.

Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG SC Wave 1 2023
Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG SC Wave 1 2023

2024 is when things get really interesting. Falcon Shores brings x86 computing and GPU computing into a more unified design. It’s Intel’s answer to NVIDIA Grace.

Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG SC Wave 2 2024 Falcon Shores
Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG SC Wave 2 2024 Falcon Shores

Intel says there are big gains in a number of segments. Here Intel says “Industry Leading I/O”. During my conversation with Raja, you will notice that Lightbender for Silicon Photonics is in this Phase 2/Wave 2 era. The way Raja explained this to me over beers, it’s going to be awesome architecture.

Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG SC Wave 2 2024 Falcon Shores Details
Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG SC Wave 2 2024 Falcon Shores Details

I’m not supposed to talk about the other bridges beyond the Ponte Vecchio, but Intel has a GPU plan as well.

Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG Lines
Intel Investor Meeting 2022 AXG Lines

Along with all this, Intel also has a Custom Comptue group. Intel takes its IP address and is also able to add additional custom logic and create custom chips for customers.

Last words

Overall, Intel has a lot of new technologies, but we’re in a bit of a weird phase. It’s basically a start-up company within Intel and we’ve been hearing about it for a while, but we’re about to start seeing some products. There’s a long way to go, but Intel has a plan and specifically eschews old design principles to be more startup-like in its nimbleness in the AXG. Now our impatient countdown until the hardware begins.

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