Intel tips its graphics plans with “Iris” GPU core

May 07, 2013

peter.clarke-May 07, 2013


LONDON – Chip giant Intel Corp. will include improved graphics processing technology called Iris on some of its 4th-generation Core processor range, otherwise known as Haswell, which is expected to launch early in June.

The Iris graphics offers two to three times the 3-D rendering performance of Intel's current fastest mobile HD graphics, according to a Dan Snyder, a marketing employee of Intel who has written about Iris on the company's website.

Haswell is set to be manufactured in the same 22-nm CMOS FinFET process as its predecessor processor, called Ivy Bridge, so performance improvements are due to a mixture of architecture including memory bandwidth, clock frequency and increased die area.

No information was provided as to how Iris works or achieves its performance uplift when compared with the established HD4000 and HD5000 series GPU cores from Intel

Intel has three variants of 4th generation Core processors due to launch on Monday June 3; they are the U-series designed for notebook computers, the Mobile H-series designed for robust notebook computers and the R-series designed for desktop computers. These will be catered for with Iris and Iris-Pro graphics. The Mobile H-series and R series Iris graphics include embedded-DRAM which is thought to be denoted by the term Iris-Pro.

The Iris graphics supports improved resolution such as 4K display resolution (3840 pixels by 2160 pixels) and supports OpenCL, DX11.1, OpenGL4.1 and DX application programming interface extensions, Intel said.

After the Haswell generation of processors Intel is expected to shrink the architecture to a 14-nm FinFET manufacturing process in a chip series called Broadwell before introducing an architecture optimized for 14-nm FinFETs called Skylake.

This article originally appeared on the EE Times web site.

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