When it comes to discrete graphics cards for gaming, it’s a market traditionally dominated by Nvidia and AMD, even when third party partners are making the cards. It’s such a complete stronghold that our best of list is just a constant back and forth between the two brands. It makes sense, as there really aren’t any other options for most customers until Intel gets its Xe act together.
But with the chip shortage world wide, we are seeing new efforts crop up all the time. China in particular has put state funding towards building a better GPU, in an effort to end reliance on the two US companies. GPU makers like Jingjia Micro have been working hard to release some serious cards, but perhaps rival company Innosilicon has beat them to the punch.
Innosilicon recently held its Fantasy One GPU press conference where the company showed off it’s latest work on discrete GPUs. According to MyDrivers and ITHome (via Videocardz), Innosilicon had a few cards on demonstration, all based on the BXT Imagination graphics IP thanks to a partnership between them.
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Unfortunately, the reports aren’t exactly complete. Though several new graphics cards from Innosilicon were shown—like the Type A consumer workstation—we don’t have the full configuration, yet. Data provided by Innosilicon puts the Type A somewhere around the Radeon RX 6700 XT and RX 6600 XT when it comes to power. The company claims the GPU has 16 GB of GDDR6(X) RAM thanks to advances in house, and says the Type A offers 5 TFLOPs of single-precision compute power.
The Type B was also shown, and is a dual-GPU setup with two Fantasy One GPUs inside. This one packs double the punch thanks to a connector between them called Innolink. Thanks to this you get double the flops, with up to 10 TFLOPs and 32 GB of GDDR6(X) RAM. Still, I can't help but want to see how one of these actually works before I go feeling giddy over those numbers.
Something unexpected yet cool is that the cards have many APIs enabled. Specifically mentioned are OpenGL, OpenGL ES, OpenCL, Vulkan, and DirectX -- though we don’t know which version. Benchmarking tests were done with Unigine Heaven OpenGL demo, which confirms it works at least, but no scores are on hand.
It looks like both the Type A and B will come in other variants too. Images of GPUs without fans are included in the press shots, which could mean a completely passive heatsink. But we will have to wait for more info, or even release to be sure.
This increase in production of products in China could be a solution to the chip shortage, especially as we see more bleed over into the west. Weird and wonderful things like this wild motherboard may be just the beginning. Though countries like the US are strongly discouraging their companies from using Chinese factories to produce their own chips over security concerns.