Intel has discussed technical cooperation on new high-performance external graphics card “Xe” with Samsung Electronics. Industry watchers speculate that Samsung Electronics' next-generation DRAM, DDR5, may be loaded into this product.
Raja Koduri, senior vice president of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) Team at Intel, visited Samsung Electronics' Giheung plant in Korea on April 16. A former AMD executive vice president of graphics cards, Koduri moved to Intel last year and is expected to launch a lineup of external graphics cards under the Xe brand next year.
Some analysts speculate that Koduri’s visit to the Giheung plant may have to do with Samsung's foundry business. Intel has been suffering a shortage of CPUs since last year, so it might want to secure additional production capacity by contracting out a portion of CPU production to Samsung’s foundry. In particular, Samsung Electronics’s Foundry Business Division announced on April 15 that it completed the development of the 5-nano process and was in talks with a large customer about 6-nano chip production. This announcement is in support of the speculation.
But Koduri’s visit is more likely to be related to cooperation in the memory sector. Intel recently announced that it would resolve the CPU supply shortage at the end of the year by aggressively expanding its production capacity. Even if production of some CPU volume is given to a foundry company, process design requires a long time, meaning that it will not immediately lead to an increase in production capacity.
Intel is highly likely to receive DDR5 products for its Xe graphics cards. A graphics card is usually loaded with a RAM together with a GPU. "Although Samsung Electronics has recently focused on strengthening its non-memory sector, it is still strong in the memory sector and Intel is a company concentrating on system semiconductors," an industry observer said. “Koduri may have visited Korea in order to discuss CPU matching for its new products."
"We cannot confirm any stories related to our customers," a Samsung Electronics official said.