Editor's Note: An Intel representative reached out to Tom's Hardware to express that comments made about Gen 12 and ray-tracing have been mistranslated. Intel says that Kenchiro Yasu didn't bring up ray-tracing, he didn't use the phrase "Gen 12" as nomenclature for the Xe graphics in Tiger Lake processors, or mention a target frame rate of 60 fps. Intel did previously announce ray tracing support at the FMX graphics trade show in Germany. The original story is below.
It’s no secret that Intel is working on a new GPU architecture, Xe, ever since the company hired Raja Koduri. Recently, he tweeted a picture hinting at a 2020 Intel Xe graphics card release, and now it seems that some of these models might come with ray-tracing support.
Supposedly, the Xe GPUs will range from entry-level mobile units, integrated into the CPUs, up to data center GPUs and discrete graphics cards for gaming, and are expected to come out in tandem with Intel’s 7nm process.
Today brings us two new bits of information. For starters, the integrated Mobility Xe iGPUs in Tiger Lake chips should offer twice the performance of Gen11 iGPUs, with the goal to deliver 1080p gaming at 60 fps for many titles.
This was detailed by Intel’s Director of Tech Kenichiro Yasu at IDC in Tokyo when showcasing some benchmarks for the Iris Plus GPUs, which didn’t quite do the trick yet to hit the 60 fps mark. Do note that the statement was phrased as 60 fps as a target where Iris currently hits 30 fps. Given that this industry is renown for over-promising, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for the time being about the level of significance we can expect from this performance bump.
Moreover, however, now that Nvidia has been working hard on marketing Ray tracing, it appears Intel will also be joining the force. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that AMD has also been working on its own ray-tracing solutions. Ray tracing for Intel’s Xe GPUs is said to be limited to the discrete graphics cards.
Thus far, the hopes are high for Intel’s Xe GPUs, and hardly a month goes by without some new rumor showing up that raises the stakes even further. With Koduri on board, this is Intel’s time to shine in the GPU department. Now that Nvidia has a working Ray tracing platform and AMD is also joining in, Intel has to participate accordingly if it wants any chance at competing in the high-end GPU market. Ray tracing might not yet be what we want it to be, but Nvidia’s RTX cards were only the first consumer-level implementation. In due course, chances are ray tracing will become more widely supported in leading game titles.