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Intel ARC Alchemist Lineup Gets Tentative May–June 2022 Release Window

Intel
(Image credit: Intel)

The timeline for Intel's introduction of its high-performance, discrete Arc Alchemist graphics cards may have just been narrowed down to a month's interval. According to Igor's Lab, Intel has faced yet another delay on their upcoming performance-geared Arc Alchemist. This relates specifically to the upcoming performance models, which should include the A700 series and A500 series, according to recent leaks. It's now expected that the third entry into the high-performance discrete graphics cards market may happen between May 2, 2022 and June 1, 2022.

According to the source, engineering qualification samples (QS) for Intel's Arc Alchemist aren't expected to tape-out for another one to two weeks, which lines up with the expected launch date. In the meantime, Intel has a lot of work to do when it comes to driver and software support for its Arc Alchemist lineup.

The company's DG1 product had notoriously bad compatibility issues, and there are concerns that DG2 may be dealing with similar issues. Perhaps slightly more pressing, however, is the company's recent slip in releasing day-zero drivers for From Software's Elden Ring, despite a vocal announcement promising just that. The situation remains the same to this day, which isn't a very good outlook on the software and driver stack, which are at least as important as the hardware itself.

Intel will have quite the fight on its hands if it hopes to actually break into the high-performance GPU market. Recent benchmark results have shown that Intel may have a competitive performance offerings in its hands, even if it won't be shipping an extreme-performance graphics card to go against AMD's RX 6900 XT or Nvidia's RTX 3090. But AMD's rumored upcoming RX 6000 series refresh could serve to further dent the attractiveness of Intel's offering — to say nothing of both AMD's and Nvidia's next-gen graphics cards, which are expected to drop later this year, further distancing both companies' from Intel's modern foray into the market.

Appropriately, Intel is going after the entry-through-performance markets, on which rumors and roadmap inferences have resulted in an expected launch of three separate graphics card tiers, starting with the 128EU (1,024 shaders) A300, the 384EU (3,072 shaders) A500, and the RTX 3070/RX 6700 XT competitor A700 series. Those tiers, and their expected respective pricing, make up the vast majority of GPUs sold. It's also easier to scale to the high-end market than the extreme performance tier.

Intel is likely looking to quickly carve out market share in the graphics space, gathering developer support for their hardware and software stack (we're looking at you, XeSS). If all goes well, future Arc products should help close the performance gap, and drivers will hopefully get any wrinkles ironed out in the meantime.

Francisco Pires is a freelance news writer for Tom's Hardware with a soft side for quantum computing.

  • InvalidError
    That little slip from Q1 to Q2 goes all the way to the limit where the slightest bit of grit may punt things into calendar Q3.
    Reply
  • jp7189
    Not yet taped out!? That can't be right. If this was an IDM product maybe Intel could pull a rabbit out of a hat for 2-3 month launch (still not likely), but these are fabbed at TSMC, no?
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    jp7189 said:
    Not yet taped out!? That can't be right. If this was an IDM product maybe Intel could pull a rabbit out of a hat for 2-3 month launch (still not likely), but these are fabbed at TSMC, no?
    Could be that they thought they had taped out, found a couple of bugs during driver development using qualification silicon, couldn't find a viable work-around for some of the bugs and had to do a hardware revision.
    Reply
  • jp7189
    InvalidError said:
    Could be that they thought they had taped out, found a couple of bugs during driver development using qualification silicon, couldn't find a viable work-around for some of the bugs and had to do a hardware revision.
    Let's hope its a quick turn around. I'm rooting for Intel if for no other reason than to have a 3rd option to reset the field. If their timeline pushes back into Lovelace and rdna3 launches I fear Arc will be dead before it begins.
    Reply