In Part 1 of our interview with Gregory Bryant, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Client Computing Group, Intel, we got some insight into the thought process developing the 12th generation ‘Elder Lake’ CPU family, which introduces heterogeneous CPU cores. Is. Type first for mainstream PCs and laptops. He also spoke about progress with low-end CPUs for affordable computers, as well as what we can expect from the emerging segment of foldable-screen laptops.
We had a chat on the sidelines of CES 2022, right after Bryant announced updates about the new 12th-generation CPUs for mainstream PCs and high-end laptops, as well as the Intel Evo certification program and Arc GPUs. We were able to work out a few more details one after the other. Bryant also talked about the challenges of the current global semiconductor supply crunch and the impact of the pandemic on demand and supply.
Gadgets 360: How are things going to be for Intel over the next year or so, in light of current chip shortages, both in terms of CPUs you’re building in-house and GPUs you’re using external services for? Are?
Gregory Bryant: Our CEO, Pat Gelsinger, is on record to say that we think there are still going to be bottlenecks in the supply chain through 2022. There are many smaller components – many of them on legacy nodes, not even the latest technology – that are really the most constrained and that are getting in the way of our customers shipping their products. That’s why we continue to work with the supply chain in the industry. Some of them are just market predictions, although I think it will get better as we go on with the times.
When you turn to Intel specifically, we’re in a very good position. Our team has done an amazing job of supplying our CPU, Chipset, Wi-Fi, Thunderbolt… you can imagine all the components we made! Our team is working with both internal and external suppliers to provide our products to customers.
CPU supply is increasing year by year; Solidly in double-digit territory. Huge investment in capacity and supply [have been made] On my behalf and I am not impeding my customers’ ability to ship my products today; It’s really about these other small and old components. I feel good about the shape we are in. We are also working with third parties to their capacity. But as I said, overall, I think there are still some supply chain constraints on components next year that we’re going to have to work through.
Gadgets 360: The GPU side has a demand problem as well as a supply problem, and Intel has previously told Gadgets 360 that Arc GPUs will have no hardware or software to discourage mining. Do you think you’ll still be able to hit a fair amount when you’re ready for launch?
Bryant: We have a strong demand for Arc GPUs. You saw the products and 50 design wins across mobile and desktop that were announced on stage at CES. Yes, I think we will be able to ship millions of units at a reasonable level of supply.
Gadgets 360: We also heard during the presentation about Deep Link how laptop/desktop OEMs will be able to manage thermal and power, as well as enable benefits such as video encoding. Will these features also work for DIY PC builders and enthusiasts buying retail Arc graphics cards? What kind of experience can you expect with the Arch+ Core versus another manufacturer’s CPU? What about the previous generation Core CPUs and motherboards?
Bryant: Many of our Deep Link features will work on both mobile and desktop integrations of Arc Graphics, but there will be some differences. For example, the ability to manage power distribution between the CPU and GPU is not impossible, but certainly more complex in the desktop space due to the variance of the motherboard, memory, cooler, etc. Other features like Hyper Encode will enable longer working hours. Since the core CPU in the machine has the right capabilities enabled. We plan to bring as much of Deep Link goodness to all Arch users, but there will be some platform differences.
Gadgets 360: How are things going in terms of consumer behavior with the pandemic? We thought we would be back to normal now, but it looks like it will be a long term situation in terms of work and living patterns. Is it starting to influence your roadmap now and your product design philosophy and decisions for the future?
Bryant: Yes, absolutely it is. We talked about key experience indicators, which are how we drive our roadmap. A very clear example is the third generation Evo spec. We’ve added intelligent collaboration capabilities because we’re all spending time in video calls. It’s not just about performance and multitasking, it’s also about the use of AI and machine learning to deliver eyesight correction and noise cancellation. There are all kinds of things we can do to make this experience better.
I get asked a lot about the PC market and demand as a result of the pandemic and there are still some people out there who think, “Hey, this cycle is really a refresh of old PCs” and we’re going back to pre-demand. Epidemic “normal” level. I think if you look at the use of PC for students in education; The way people work is changing; I believe hybrid work is largely here to stay. So as we plan the roadmap in terms of experiences on our Evo platform, this has really changed everything.
I think technology can play an important role in the new normal; In trying to help people work, learn, play, collaborate and communicate with their loved ones. Going forward, it’s up to us to make the experience as good as possible.
Gadgets 360: You Announced That H-Series [45W mobile] CPUs are now part of the Evo spec. Does this mean that there are going to be different levels or sections? How will the third generation versus second generation Evo be distinguished, will there be “Evo for gamers” and “Evo for creators”?
Bryant: We’re not doing tiers per sec, from a badge standpoint. There have been options in the spec before, and OEMs can target different customization points. They can make choices about the performance and battery life they want to offer. This one size does not fit all; 100+ Evo designs and more coming. So what we’re doing now is incorporate a way to use H-series processors and Arc discrete graphics in this spec. There will be a wide range of options. With discrete graphics and an H-series processor, the Evo means a lot to some people. I don’t think we have to literally say “Evo for Creators” on the badge.
Read Part 1 of the interview with Gregory Bryant.
Some of the responses have been slightly edited for clarity and length.
Get the latest from the Consumer Electronics Show on Gadgets 360 on our CES 2022 hub.