Intel is definitely adding a VPU chip to its new 14th Gen Core “Meteor Lake” CPUs that will debut in Q3 2023, a year from now: with the VPU confirmed as the Versatile Processing Unit.
The new Intel UPV was teased close to a year ago by leaker Moore’s Law is Dead, yet another leak of his confirmed… MLID explained back in September 2021: “Meteor Lake will get an integrated VPU Accelerator. It’s similar to the Neural in the Apple M1 for speech recognition, language models, and conceivably tons of apps by the time Meteor Lake launches“.
Intel confirmed the Versatile Processing Unit (VPU) in a new commit to Linux VPU driver. The new VPU driver was baked into the Linux Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) in the same fashion that graphics drivers get integrated.
Intel’s upcoming Versatile Processing Unit inside of the new 14th Gen Core “Meteor Lake” CPUs will be one of the Tiles inside, as Intel is moving into a new Tile-based CPU architecture. The new hybrid architecture that Intel will be using packs Redwood Cove and Crestmont CPU cores into the latest Intel Xe-LPG graphics architecture. Intel might be suffering with its GPU department now, but things will get better over time and Meteor Lake is going to (hopefully) come in like a wrecking ball against AMD in 2023 and beyond.
Intel says that the new VPU is a CPU-integrated inference accelerator for Computer Vision and Deep Learning applications. As for the VPU device itself, it will have the following components:
- buttress: provides CPU to VPU integration, interrupt, frequency and power management.
- Memory Management Unit (based on ARM MMU-600): translates VPU to host DMA addresses, isolates user workloads.
- RISC-based microcontroller: executes firmware that provides job execution API for the kernel-mode driver.
- Neural Compute Subsystem (NCS): does the actual work, provides Compute and Copy engines.
- Network on Chip (NoC): network fabric connecting all the components.