Mon. Oct 14th, 2019

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Kaby Lake-G reaches end-of-life, ending Intel and AMD’s once unfathomable partnership

2 min read

In context: In 2017 Intel made waves by announcing an unlikely collaboration with rival AMD to bring a new mobile chip to market. The resulting CPU would arrive in the form of Kaby Lake-G, with sights firmly set on disrupting the mobile GPU market Nvidia had dominated for so long. Intel also sought to inspire new devices with thinner and smaller footprints. From Intel’s vantage point, using G-series chips would allow OEMs to theoretically save space with smaller motherboard designs by forgoing larger dGPU solutions.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, as Intel has officially issued a Product Change Notification that establishes an end-of-life path for Kaby Lake-G. Per the PCN, Intel is taking orders until January 31, 2020. Afterwards, the final orders will ship by July 31, 2020. The affected products are listed below.

Intel and AMD’s bold partnership saw the pairing of x86 Kaby Lake processing cores with AMD’s Radeon Vega graphics, all in one package. Also on package would be HBM2 memory, as well as Intel’s EMIB to allow for communication and power sharing between the CPU and GPU.

Despite the fanfare, Intel’s Kaby Lake-G suffered from lack of adoption among OEMs. Although, we did see products from Dell, HP, and some of Intel’s own NUCs. However, the processors required more elaborate cooling designs, which led to longer and more costly development periods. Additionally, the 65W and 100W TDPs seemingly limited what devices the chips could land in. Instead, OEMs would later go on to adopt successive generations of Intel’s U and H-series of processors and pair them with Nvidia graphics cards.

Kaby Lake-G also preceded Intel’s own ambitions to enter the discrete graphics market with its Xe Graphics Architecture. Xe will span the mobile, desktop, all the way to the data center, and everything in between. This likely won’t leave much room for further collaboration with AMD, or any new G-series processors.

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