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Intel Arc and Alchemist: Everything explained

Intel is gearing up to launch their own lineup of GPUs, and the two names you’ll hear often in reference to them is Intel Arc and Alchemist. Here's all you need to know about it.

Edited by: Devesh Arora @aroradevesh New Delhi Updated on: September 16, 2021 11:37 IST
Image Source : INTEL

Intel Arc is expected to arrive in Q1 2022. 

For a long time, Intel and Nvidia have been dominating the PC and laptop space with their CPUs and GPUs, respectively. Lately, AMD has been offering tough competition to both parties in the respective areas. While Intel has managed to hold a lead in some areas on the CPU side, it is the GPU side where Intel has been held back. Fans have been waiting for the company to release its own GPU that would go toe to toe with the best, and that wait is now almost over. Intel is gearing up to launch their own lineup of GPUs, and the two names you’ll hear often in reference to them is Intel Arc and Alchemist. We interviewed Mr Akshay Kamath, Director PC Client Sales, Intel India, to know a little more about the upcoming GPU lineup and here’s everything you need to know.

 India Tv - intel

Image Source : INTELAkshay Kamath - Director PC Client Sales (India) - Intel

Here are all the questions:

1. Why did it take Intel so long to get into the GPU market given that gaming has been a strong focus for Intel for many years? 

Given the current discrete GPU market dynamics and Intel’s technology and scale, we felt that the discrete GPU market is ripe for market disruption and much-needed competition. We’ve built the Xe architecture to scale the breadth of GPU spectrum from the efficiency and mobility-focused Xe LP architecture, the gaming and enthusiast-focused Xe HPG, right up to the AI and datacenter-focused Xe HPC architecture.

2. What kind of needs is Intel addressing with the new GPU? Will it be gamer-focused only or will there be a focus for content-creation tasks as well?

Our Xe architecture is extremely scalable, allowing us to tailor the upcoming GPU to various needs. The new Intel(R) Arc(TM) Graphics solutions will deliver high-performance gaming, immersive visuals, seamless game streaming and creation experiences.  Intel’s long-term vision, starting with gaming-first Codename Alchemist SoCs, is to bring frictionless gaming and content creation experiences to gamers and creators worldwide, giving them innovation and choice in hardware coupled with open and accessible software tools.

3. Nvidia has the GeForce line for mainstream gaming, but then there’s Quadro for professionals in the 3D, animation etc space. Is intel planning a separate series for such users or will alchemist be the right fit for them too?

We will share more information around the launch.

4. Do you have a tentative launch date for the new GPUs?

 We are targeting Alchemist products to be in the market in Q1 2022.

5. Are there any limiters built-in to prevent the use of Intel GPUs for mining?

Xe HPG was designed as gaming first microarchitecture, and our priority is to support gamers.

6. Intel shared two brand names: Arc and Alchemist. Can you define what products they correlate to?

Intel Arc is the brand for Intel’s consumer discrete graphics products and Alchemist is the codename of the family of SoCs based on our new high-performance Xe HPG discrete graphics microarchitecture. Alchemist SoCs were previously referred to as DG2. Gamers and creators are at the forefront of telling and creating unique and amazing stories. The narrative flow of a story, with various plot and character inflections, is called the story arc. Every game, gamer, and creator has a story to tell, and every story has an arc. Inspired by this, we are announcing Intel® Arc ™ as our consumer high-performance graphics brand.

This brand represents Intel’s commitment to empowering users to experience and create amazing new stories. It also represents our commitment to delivering frictionless gaming and content creation experiences, providing greater choice in hardware coupled with open and accessible software tools and services. 

7. Can you share more insight on how XeSS works? We’ve seen two different implementations from both Nvidia and AMD and want to understand Intel’s approach to it. 

XeSS or Xe Super Sampling is a novel upscaling technology that enables high performance and high fidelity visuals. It uses deep learning to synthesize images that are very close to the quality of native high-res rendering. It works by reconstructing subpixel details from neighboring pixels, as well as motion-compensated previous frames. This reconstruction is performed by a neural network trained to deliver high performance and great quality, with up to a 2x performance boost.

8. Intel is using TSMC to manufacture the GPUs and given that demand is very high, how will Intel assure enough supply in the market?

We are working closely with TSMC to ensure a robust supply chain.

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