Intel and AMD team up, still hate each other

The big news in the tech world today is the unexpected partnership between Intel and AMD, archrivals since the dawn of time (or the computer age at least). Intel is looking to integrate an AMD Radeon graphics core into their latest H-series 8th Gen. Core processors for notebook PCs.

Word has it that Intel approached AMD about the partnership, to which AMD probably replied, “You must be joking,” while giving them a blank stare. But AMD eventually came around, realizing a team effort here could be mutually beneficial.

By integrating the CPU and discrete graphics processor, Intel is looking to save space while improving performance; key considerations in the race to build ever-lighter, thinner laptops that are also more capable of handling demanding games and other such applications.

Combining the CPU and graphics processor is a great way to save space: the traditional board layout in on the left, the new Intel/AMD setup on the right.

As Chris Walker, general manager of the Mobile Client Platform at Intel, put it, Intel wanted “a way to deliver a stronger combination of performance-level processors and discrete graphics that open the door to even smaller form factors.”

AMD mirrored this sentiment, with Scott Herkelman, vice president and general manager of AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group, [reluctantly] admitting that “together we are offering gamers and content creators the opportunity to have a thinner-and-lighter PC capable of delivering discrete performance-tier graphics experiences in AAA games and content creation applications.”

So for now it seems that Intel and AMD are willing to cooperate, but don’t think for a second there isn’t still some bad blood between them. Intel has no doubt that AMD basically stole, via reverse-engineering, their 8080 microchip back in the mid-70s. AMD, on the other hand, sees Intel as a big bully — a bully that aims to keep them just viable enough to survive in a market with otherwise very little competition.

At the end of the day this new partnership will be a win for the consumer, and if nothing else Intel and AMD can always find common ground in their mutual dislike for NVIDIA. 

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