Intel Arc Alchemist, the GPU will be produced with 6nm TSMC

Intel Arc Alchemist, the GPU will be produced with 6nm TSMC

Intel Arc Alchemist

During Architecture Day 2021, Intel revealed a lot of new information regarding its future flagship video cards, hitherto known as Xe HPG (High Performance Gaming), also unveiling some news regarding Alchemist, the other cards in the family and what the plans are. for the debut in the discrete GPU market.

Credit: Intel Specifically, the Santa Clara house has finally defined the official roadmap in which all the architectures that will be used in the following years are highlighted. In fact, the graph shows the Xe² HPG "Battlemage", Xe³ HPG "Celestial" and Xe Next "Druid" architectures, thus making it clear that Intel's in the world of video cards will not be a simple appearance, but will see the American giant strongly motivated to reach its main rivals Nvidia and AMD.

Credit: Intel As for the immediate future, the Xe HPG "Alchemist" graphics cards will be released in Q1 of 2022, confirming the rumors leaked in the previous days . At the moment many details about this card are still unknown, but we know what the production process will be: it seems that Intel is willing to rely on TSMC's 6nm.

As for the performance of the card, it is likely that Intel wants to aim for the high-end. In the widespread graphs, the operation of the Xe cores is also shown, which will consist of traditional vector engines, matrix engines (usually used in AI) and dedicated Ray Tracing units, with each calculation block characterized by 16 vector engines, 16 engines matrix, a core dedicated to Ray Tracing and a sampler. Additionally, four of these Xe cores are used to create an Intel XMX and share resources and cache.

Credit: Intel For some time Intel has been working to improve its graphics drivers, trying to reduce the CPU load as much as possible and trying to increase both the performance and the stability of its integrated solutions. This part of the work obviously will not stop, so it is plausible that the new discrete GPUs will enjoy good driver optimization and can be exploited to the maximum right away. The GPUs will also support DirectX 12 Ultimate, the Vulkan API and the main game engines, such as Unreal Engine and Unity.

Credit: Intel In a slide seen during the presentation, the chip design of the “Alchemist "Flagship, which will adopt a subdivision into 8 sections, each of which has 4 cores with 16 vector / matrix engines, confirming the fact that the top-of-the-range model of the first generation of Intel video cards will be equipped with 512 EU (Execution Unit ) total.

The only doubt that remains regarding these cards lies in the desire to use TSMC's 6nm lithography, a choice that could pose a considerable problem since the production of the Intel GPU could be limited by the overcrowding of the production line; it is natural to ask the reasons for this choice, given that the Santa Clara house has quite important foundries. We just have to wait for the beginning of 2022, with the hope of finally seeing the light out of the tunnel and the end of the shortage problems that have been with us for almost a year now.

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Intel launches Arc GPU brand, first 'Alchemist' products coming early 2022

logo: Intel © Provided by CNET Intel

Intel's long-awaited discrete graphics targeting gaming and content creation finally gets christened Monday with a family name, Intel Arc -- a play on the concept of a story arc and architecture. Formerly known as 'DG2,' and based on the HPG variant of the company's latest generation of its GPU designs, the first chips based on its Intel Xe HPG architecture bear the new codename 'Alchemist.' Intel plans to release more details by this end of the year and to begin shipping Alchemist products by the end of March 2022. Subsequent generations also get codenames as well: Battlemage, Celestial and Druid.   

a person with collar shirt: I waited years for Intel discrete graphics and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. (Just kidding. I didn © Provided by CNET I waited years for Intel discrete graphics and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. (Just kidding. I didn't get a t-shirt.) This is the back. Intel

We know little from the announcement other than those tidbits and that it will support all Windows DirectX 12 Ultimate features, and incorporate ray-tracing acceleration and AI-based supersampling for antialiasing (optimal edge smoothing). At this point, those three are essentials to compete for gaming dollars. Intel offers a video of some of the features in action, though it's not particularly informative.

logo © Intel

The desktop and console discrete GPU market, which some might consider a duopoly, will be a hard nut to crack after all these years. Nvidia dominates on the PC, with AMD occupying a sliver of PCs and owning the graphics in major consoles such as the Xbox Series X and Series S, PS5 and more. Simply delivering competitive performance may not be enough.

But Intel's dominance in desktop and laptop CPUs and chipsets may give it a leg up if Intel can play better with its own CPUs' integrated graphics than Nvidia -- especially when it comes to on-the-fly switching between the two for optimal power consumption and maximizing bandwidth between the central and graphics processing subsystems -- as AMD does with its own processors.

Given the current state of the GPU market and shortages of many types of chips that's expected to last at least through the end of 2021 -- it's still nearly impossible to buy a graphics card for your PC and impossible to get one at a realistic price -- it makes sense for Intel to not try to rush it out for this year. 

But it doesn't want to be left out of the fun until then. So it's offering logo t-shirts (though the kind of designs companies create for employees to wear to tradeshows, not for fans)... that won't ship until Sept. 3 at the earliest.

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