Intel has been working on discrete graphics cards for years and just announced that its new graphics processor will go under the Intel ARC brand. Don’t search just yet, you’ll probably find Intel Ark, Intel’s processor specification database. Intel has been building discrete graphics processors like Intel’s ARC GPUs for more than a decade. Think Larrabee 1 and Larrabee 2, two ambitious projects that failed.
Intel is no stranger to Intel ARC GPUs and ships many of them in the form of GPUs built into several CPU products. Therefore, the company has extensive experience with graphics standards and drivers. Integrated graphics have shown great performance lately, but they don’t even replace low-end discrete graphics from AMD or NVIDIA.
The Intel Xe graphics architecture for graphics cards was recently released in the Intel Xe DG1 card. And its performance is equivalent to that of the NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030, which is roughly half the speed of the GTX 1060.
Today’s Announcement of Intel
Today’s announcement is the Intel DG2 hardware (codenamed “Alchemist”), which will be released in the first quarter of 2022 under the Intel ARC brand. We don’t know what the performance will be. But it’s an important step for Intel as the company seems poised to compete in at least some market segments.
According to the company, the new hardware supports advanced features such as hardware beam tracking with AI-based noise reduction and super-sampling. Regarding the API, Intel will offer “full support for DirectX 12”.
There are now less than a dozen businesses in the graphics sector. Down from approximately 50 when I began producing video games in the 1980s. Intuit’s entry into the high-end graphics industry is a welcome development; we’ll have to wait and see what comes of it.
Ultimately, GPU performance is clear: absolute performance, wattage, and dollar performance. Let’s see what Intel can do.