Intel ‘Client 2.0’: the future is customised

No more one-size fits all computing, with hardware customisation via a new platform
Intel's new Client 2.0 approach (Image: Intel)

17 August 2020

If Intel’s view of the future is right, you may one day be shopping for a compute device that is custom-tailored for you, rather than a device that is one-size-fits-all.

The company detailed its long view of the future of computing devices called “Client 2.0” where the monolithic core and multi-die approaches are shed for a far more granular and personalised approach to personal computing.

People have expectations of rich computing at every turn, and that can’t be addressed with the old models of monolithic designs, Intel said. (Image: Intel)

The company believes this Client 2.0 era will occur as we leave today’s cloud-everything approach and expect immersive, “life-like” computing experiences at every turn, said Brijesh Tripathi, Chief Client Architect for Intel.




Tripathi said Intel has been moving toward this vision for years, and its approach with EMIB, memory, and stacked dies will help it happen.

“Our purpose has changed from building monolithic general-purpose SoCs to building scalable, purpose-built devices to provide rich user experience,” Tripathi said.

Besides enabling that rich computing, Tripathi said the approach Intel is taking will cut the cadence of development to a mind-boggling 12 months.

Tripathi said a monolithic integrated SOC can take three to four years to develop, cannot be reused, and may have hundreds of bugs in the silicon.

The multiple-die approach could take two to three years, offer some reuse opportunity, and might have far fewer bugs (in the double digits, according to Intel) in the silicon.

Individual IPs would take a mere year to develop, offer significant reuse, and might have fewer than 10 bugs in the silicon.

Obviously for Intel, a cadence of 12 months would be welcome after being mired in manufacturing process delays using its monolithic approach.

The future for Intel might be in individual IP chips bundled together rather than reinventing the wheel every-time and hoping for a pristine SoC. (Image: Intel)

Tripathi said the design philosophy could scale well for the individual user, too. For one example, Tripathi said a corporate worker might want a device with more AI performance for the productivity tools. A gamer, however, might want a device with more GPU cores, while a creator might want one beefed up with both graphics and compute performance.

Tripathi said Intel has already developed many of the technologies to enable this. Its EMIB, for example, has long been touted for its ability to join multiple devices. The stacking in its Foveros chips of different CPUs and memory also gives us a glimpse of this vision.

Intel’s advanced packaging will help it enable “Client 2.0,” where a customised device is built for your needs. (Image: Intel)

It is a fairly radical rethink for how a PC is used going forward, also how it is marketed and how a consumer shops for it. Today, specs such as a Core i7 with perhaps a discrete graphics card or Intel’s highest-end Iris Plus graphics lead the decision. One day that may mean thinking about what you do and then buying the computer based on different scales of needs.

IDG News Service

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