Published in PC Hardware

Nvidia chips might have ARM doing the processing

by on29 May 2024

Off-the-shelf ARM Cortex X5 cores

The dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell-on-earth yarn that says Nvidia is using off-the-shelf ARM Cortex X5 cores to process its 2025 chip, all packed in along shiny new Blackwell GPU cores.

To make matters worse, Nvidia would use Intel's fabs, which might be the beginning of the end of x86.

The rumours are not that daft, as Nvidia has been snuggling up to MediaTek in making laptop reference designs. If the company can create laptops built around its own processors and GPUs, it would be a win, more so if it can also make inroads into the lower-end market.

The specs rumour comes from @XpeaGPU on X, which claims it will be a Cortex X5 CPU cluster with a Blackwell iGPU and sport LPDDR6 memory on the package. It also states it will be built using TSMC's N3P node, a claim quickly disputed by another fellow X rumour-monger, @Kepler_L2. They claim Nvidia will be using an Intel 3nm production process.

@XpeaGPU probably means Intel 3, because Intel doesn't specifically have a 3nm node, but it could be the Intel 3-T update which includes Foveros Direct 3D stacking capabilities to bring chips or wafers from different foundries together.

It would mean seeing Nvidia using TSMC N3P to build Blackwell GPU cores and Intel to create the ARM Cortex X5 cores and the base tile.

Nvidia would have the advantage of an alternative foundry partner to TSMC, with some suspecting that different GPU lines might be manufactured at Intel.

But if this rumour is true, Nvidia will not make custom cores and is bucking the trend set by Qualcomm and Apple. Plucking pre-made cores from Arm's catalogue means not having to mess around architecting your own processor cores.


Last modified on 29 May 2024
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