Intel is promising that its upcoming Haswell processors will double the performance of their integrated graphics functions, aided by on-chip memory shared between the CPU cores and graphics.
The fourth generation of Intel's Core processors, codenamed Haswell, is set for official release on 3 June, and Intel continues to drip-feed pieces of information regarding the upcoming chips.
While Intel's integrated graphics functions were given a boost with the third-generation Ivy Bridge chips, they still lagged way behind the capabilities of GPUs from Nvidia and AMD. Now, Intel claims that Haswell will see a two-fold increase in 3D performance over the Intel HD graphics in Ivy Bridge, with select versions of the new Core chips featuring Intel Iris or Iris Pro graphics.
"With up to a two-fold 3D performance improvement over today's fastest mobile Intel HD Graphics solutions, Intel Iris graphics brings next-generation mobile computing devices to life with a built-in, eye-popping visual experience – no extra graphics card required," said Intel's Dan Snyder, writing on the firm's [email protected] blog.
The move means that the Haswell chips will be segmented according to graphics capabilities in addition to other features of the chip, with some of the new Core chips keeping the HD 4000 graphics of Ivy Bridge, while others will have Iris or Iris Pro graphics.
In addition, some chips will feature embedded DRAM (eDRAM), which will further boost performance by serving as a shared on-chip cache accessible by both the CPU cores and the Intel HD graphics.
Shared memory is an approach that AMD is also adopting in its next-generation accelerated processor unit (APU) chips. Earlier this week, the firm disclosed that the CPU and GPU cores in its upcoming Kaveri APUs would have equal access to a unified memory space.
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