Today Intel is announcing the brand name for what was previously known as the Xe HPG GPU. Instead of using the “Intel Xe HPG” as its brand, there is now Intel Arc. Intel Arc will be the company’s GPU brand and is not to be confused with Intel ARK the ultra-useful tool to learn about Intel products.
Intel Arc is the Brand for its New GPU
We are still waiting for cards, and it seems as though we have two quarters to go until launch, but the Xe HPG is from the same family as Intel’s other GPU offerings. The first Intel Xe DG1 (LP) was sampling to developers only seven quarters ago. We also know that the Xe HPC “Ponte Vecchio” GPU looks like a spaceship of packaging technology. The Intel Arc GPU replacing the previous HPG seem somewhere between the two.
As part of the release, Intel showed off a chip that would have been previously known as the DG2.
This chip looks very similar to a rendering of the physical chip that Intel showed off two months ago in Intel Xe-HPG DG2 GPU Shown in Public.
Intel also told us a bit about its codenames. This first offering (formerly called DG2) is going to be based on the company’s Alchemist microarchitecture. That will be followed up by the Intel Arc Battlemage, Celestial, and Druid generations. While NVIDIA names its GPU architectures after famous scientists and engineers, and many of Intel’s chips are named after geographic features, Intel seems to be focusing specifically on some sort of fantasy genre of gaming for its GPUs. If you are a FPS or sports gaming fan, our sense is that Intel will still try getting its GPUs to work with those and that this is just a naming convention.
The somewhat intriguing part about the codename lineage for the new Intel Arc brand is that it is so focused on a specific gaming genre. Whereas many companies purchase NVIDIA Turing and now Ampere gaming GPUs for professional work settings and edge AI work, it seems like Intel is steering away from that use case with these codenames. Imagine being at work and telling someone you need to get the latest “Druid” GPU for your AI workstation with a straight face.
Perhaps the coolest feature of this is that Intel says that the Intel Arc Alchemist product will launch in Q1 2022. Soon we will see if Intel’s foray into GPUs will make a major dent in the GPU market. Intel has the power to bundle its sprawling portfolio so there is a good chance it will make notable inroads. Hopefully, we get more details on Intel Arc as we get closer to launch.