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Intel Arc Announced: 'Alchemist' Discrete Gaming GPUs Land In Q1 2022

Intel Arc
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel announced this morning that it would bundle its new high-performance graphics hardware, software, and services under a new 'Arc' brand, with the first discrete gaming graphics cards and new GPUs for notebooks coming to market in Q1 2022. The company also launched a new arc website with some additional info (not to be confused with its "Ark" spec site), along with some videos of its newest Alchemist GPU playing a few games

The new Arc branding will persist across several generations of Intel's discrete GPUs, with the first graphics cards, previously known as 'DG2,' now codenamed Alchemist. Intel's first high-powered discrete gaming graphics cards will be based on Intel's Xe-HPG (High Performance Graphics) architecture. Future generations of Intel's discrete graphics cards will be named Battlemage, Celestial, and Druid.

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Intel Discrete GPU Arc CodenameRelease Date
AlchemistQ1 2022
BattlemageUnknown
Celestial Unknown
DruidUnknown

Intel will continue to fold all of its graphics solutions under the broader Xe Architecture umbrella, which signifies that these GPUs all share a similar underlying graphics microarchitecture. In addition, other variants, such as Xe-LP for lower-powered client GPUs, Xe-HPC for high performance computing (HPC), and Xe-HP for the server market will continue to serve their respective markets. 

intel arc

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel's plans for the hardware side of the Alchemist GPUs remain to be seen. However, the press release does note that the cards "feature hardware-based ray tracing and artificial intelligence-driven super sampling," with the latter implying there could be some sort of hardware-accelerated AI functionality baked into the gaming cards to improve performance. 

Intel recently poached Anton Kaplanyan,  an ex-Nvidia engineer that pioneered the company's DLSS technology, signaling that the company could be planning a longer-term development cadence for this type of technology. Of course, any technology in Intel's GPUs that would ship in the Alchemist GPUs would have been in development for years already. Still, Kaplanyan is obviously already well underway at Intel, tweeting (as you can see below) that Alchemist will come with full DX12U support, including mesh shading and high-performance ray tracing. He also says that neural supersampling will be announced separately. 

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We don't have any official information on specs yet, but the cards are rumored to feature 512 execution units and come fabbed on a TSMC process node, delivering far more performance than the lower-end discrete DG1 graphics card we recently tested.

We're sure to learn more in the coming months as the company works to build up some hype around its coming launch. For now, we're left with the video in the tweet above and a quote from the Intel press release: 

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

Paul Alcorn

Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.

  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    Intel definitely is going to need a few "leaps" of performance increases before "Arc" really shoots up! :p
    Reply
  • Metal Messiah.
    INTEL ARK (database) is already a thing. Now it appears that it's just turned into a proper branding. Intel® Product Specifications
    BTW, some gameplay demo footage has also been shared by Intel. The quality of the video is horrible though. Good to see METRO EXODUS running on DG2, along with CRYSIS Remastered, and few other PC titles. I don't have very HIGH hopes from INTEL's entry into the gaming GPU market though.

    They haven't even mentioned on what screen resolution, and game settings this has been captured.

    1427262530594869258View: https://twitter.com/IntelGraphics/status/1427262530594869258
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Turning crap into gold will definitely require lots of potent alchemy. Lets hope they'll be more successful this time than when they last tried it about 20 years ago and failed spectacularly.
    Reply
  • waltc3
    Playing catch up with GPUs and CPUs seems to be Intel's fate these days.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    waltc3 said:
    Playing catch up with GPUs and CPUs seems to be Intel's fate these days.
    Intel is fine as far as CPU designs are concerned, they just need the fabs to actually make them as-intended instead of having to retrofit them for different processes just to pump product out of the doors while they are still waiting for process to catch up with designs.

    On the GPU side of things, numbers from Xe look decent for the parts we have benchmarks on so far, so the only major questions are whether it is going to scale well and how good drivers are going to be. Drivers were a major letdown for the i740 and not a particularly strong point on subsequent IGPs beyond essential functionality.
    Reply
  • drdccd
    MINING makes intel drooling .
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    drdccd said:
    MINING makes intel drooling .
    With ETC taking the first major step towards PoS in December, there won't be a whole lot of GPU crypto-mining to drool over in 2022 when these things launch assuming the schedule does not slip some more.
    Reply
  • Giroro
    I definitely confused "Arc" with "Ark", plus I'm not sure what the word "Arc" has to do with GPUs.
    Combined with Arc being a short and common word, I don't think this is very good branding. It calls attention to how generally terrible Intel has been at branding and marketing lately.
    Reply
  • waltc3
    InvalidError said:
    Intel is fine as far as CPU designs are concerned, they just need the fabs to actually make them as-intended instead of having to retrofit them for different processes just to pump product out of the doors while they are still waiting for process to catch up with designs.

    On the GPU side of things, numbers from Xe look decent for the parts we have benchmarks on so far, so the only major questions are whether it is going to scale well and how good drivers are going to be. Drivers were a major letdown for the i740 and not a particularly strong point on subsequent IGPs beyond essential functionality.

    Uh, if they are "fine" then please explain why firmware patching and Windows Microcode security-hole patching by the dozens, literally (which have to be reinstalled each time Windows is reinstalled), are still required for these "fine" CPUs? Ryzen, otoh, not being a warmed-over architecture from ten years ago, has maybe 2, or at the most 3, vulnerabilities and no windows microcode patches that I know of. Sorry to disagree with you on that score. It's far worse than just the process node for intel. I think your confidence is misplaced--it takes a lot more than just money and people walking around in suits spending it like water to win--just ask AMD who have zoomed right past Intel as if Intel was sitting still--on practically peanuts compared with Intel's R&D expenditures--the net result of which saw AMD win over Intel and saw Apple drop Intel CPUs in total. Those don't sound like "fine" CPUs to me...;)

    Intel is strictly small potatoes on the GPU side of the house. i7xx, of which I had no less than three--all of them returned to place of purchase--were awful. Intel actually believed AGP texturing was great--and the i7xx's bombed hard. 16MB of onboard memory for texturing cards by nVidia and 3dfx ate them alive in performance and image quality. Soon afterwards, Intel dropped completely out of the discrete GPU markets and its IGPs have been behind AMD's APUs for years. With the recent release of the 5600/5700G APUs, the delta has grown as Intel drops further back.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    waltc3 said:
    Uh, if they are "fine" then please explain why firmware patching and Windows Microcode security-hole patching by the dozens, literally (which have to be reinstalled each time Windows is reinstalled), are still required for these "fine" CPUs? Ryzen, otoh, not being a warmed-over architecture from ten years ago, has maybe 2, or at the most 3, vulnerabilities and no windows microcode patches that I know of. Sorry to disagree with you on that score. It's far worse than just the process node for intel. I think your confidence is misplaced--it takes a lot more than just money and people walking around in suits spending it like water to win--just ask AMD who have zoomed right past Intel as if Intel was sitting still--on practically peanuts compared with Intel's R&D expenditures--the net result of which saw AMD win over Intel and saw Apple drop Intel CPUs in total. Those don't sound like "fine" CPUs to me...;)
    So a CPU that has maybe 10% the market share and is around for maybe a tenth of the time that core has been around has 10% of the vulnerabilities.
    What else is new?! How is that making one any better or worse than the other?!
    This is the same stuff they are saying about linux, that it's so much "better" (safer) ...because nobody cares enough to code any attacks for it.
    Reply