AMD Preempted Intel’s “Glued Together” Accusation

/ 3 years ago


Just a few days ago Intel launched their Skylake SP Purley lineup. As a part of their launch slides, the chip giant derided AMD‘s EPYC processors as “glued together”. In response to this accusation, AMD is taking a calm and collected approach. In fact, Sunnyvale has already preempted Intel’s marketing accusation. As part of their earlier presentations, AMD has already addressed this issue.

This glued together accusation is a result of the Infinity Fabric and modular design AMD has chosen. With Ryzen, Threadripper and EPYC, Sunnyvale chose to build on a modular base of 4 cores. Infinity Fabric then connects the cores. Along with the other I/O elements, this makes up a complete chip. The modular approach improves yields and scalability, leading to cheaper processors. As the modules are technically independent, Infinity Fabric does glue everything together.

AMD’s Glue May Be the Future

During their presentation, AMD SVP Scott Aylor addressed the issue head on. He noted that while “there’s a theory out there that EPYC is just 4 desktop processors glued together“. Once you look at the processor as a whole, it should become clear that “this is not a glued together desktop processor“. Aylor also noted that the company could have built a monolithic part but it would involve “trade-offs that would [drag] performance down because it would [be] too large and too difficult to manufacture“.

Honestly, Intel shouldn’t be the one complaining about EPYC. Intel’s themselves used the Front Side Bus to glue together Pentium D and Core 2 Quad CPUs on an MCM. In fact, AMD’s implementation of Infinity Fabric is a lot more complex and nuanced that Intel is giving it credit for. With Skylake SP moving to a similar Mesh architecture as well, Intel may have to glue their processors as well in the near future.

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