Intel unveils Arc brand with new GPUs arriving in 2022

The first hardware generation, nicknamed Alchemist, will be based on the Xe microarchitecture

Intel has unveiled the Arc brand of graphics-based hardware and software products that are set to launch next year with a new line of GPUs set to be embedded in consumer-oriented products.

Intel Arc includes hardware, software and services, and will span multiple hardware generations starting with Alchemist, formerly known as DG2, which will be based on the Xe HPG microarchitecture. 

Alchemist, set to be launched in products in the first quarter of 2022, will then be followed by Battlemage, Celestial and Druid. These chips, falling under the Intel Arc brand, will succeed the first Xe-based discrete GPU known as DG1, which launched at the start of 2020.

“Today marks a key moment in the graphics journey we started just a few years ago,” said Intel’s vice president and general manager of Client Graphics Products and Solutions, Roger Chandler.

“The launch of the Intel Arc brand and the reveal of future hardware generations signifies Intel’s deep and continued commitment to gamers and creators everywhere. 

“We have teams doing incredible work to ensure we deliver first-class and frictionless experiences when these products are available early next year.”

Intel Xe is a scalable graphics and computing architecture designed to deliver high performance and functionality than previous generations of GPUs across various products. These range from data centres to supercomputers and include both integrated and discrete graphics. 

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Intel Arc products will be based on the Xe HPG microarchitecture, which is an amalgamation of the company’s Xe LP, HP and HPC technologies. 

Alchemist features hardware-based ray tracing and AI-driven super sampling, in addition to full support for DirectX 12 Ultimate.

Future generations of Intel Arc GPUs will include additional features and support for complementary technologies, although the firm isn’t revealing any more details until later this year.

The company has recently embarked on a change in direction following a turbulent 2020 in which hardware standards slipped and companies like Nvidia and AMD boosted their respective reputations. 

While Nvidia pipped Intel to become the most valuable US chipmaker, AMD has targeted the firm directly with a host of competing products for data centres and business laptops. The firm has also made major advances on its microarchitecture technologies. 

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