It’s been a long time coming. After a handful of bad news, Intel has finally revealed the company’s GPU strategy. Starting in late 2021, Intel will begin shipping enthusiast-grade and gaming graphics cards.
The news is right up there with the worst kept industry secrets.
Intel plans to release four different GPU lines based on the company’s Xe architecture. The top-of-the-line cards are targeted for servers and data centers. Where we care is the Xe-HPG, a gaming-grade and high-end GPU built for DirectX 12 and GDDR6. The announcement is pretty sparse; there is still plenty of time before we learn more about it.
So far Intel is keeping details under wraps. It’s still very early, though early leaked benchmarks show that these GPUs may be very promising. The key component that makes this architecture so interesting is combining integrated and discrete graphics to increase performance. That, combined with both Xe-driven integrated and discrete graphics…we may see surprising performance boosts in GPUs. This may prove more valuable than alternatives from NVIDIA and AMD.
What does it mean for GPUs? The whole landscape is changing: NVIDIA may purchase ARM and we may see a shift away from x86 architecture for desktops. AMD has been killing it in both CPUs and GPUs. So all three major players will make both. And Microsoft and Apple both support ARM processors with their operating systems. All three companies have lofty long-term goals, but only Intel has shown a timeline for it.
So yes, Intel may be struggling to reach a 7nm process for CPUs, and AMD may be doing great. But don’t discount Intel yet; the long-standing king of processors has plenty up it’s sleeve.
AnandTech has a deep dive into understanding the architecture, which is a great read.