Alongside today’s profitable-but-uneasy earnings report from Intel, the company’s earnings presentation also offered a short update on the status of their discrete GPUs. As of today, Intel’s DG1 GPU is now shipping. Meanwhile the company announced their next GPU, appropriately named DG2, which is based on their upcoming Xe-HPG architecture. This GPU is now back from the fab and is in Intel’s lab, and is now far enough along to have been powered on.

First and foremost we have DG1, or as it’s better known by its commercial product name, Iris Xe Max. Intel’s first discrete GPU in over two decades, the company has since the beginning of this year been touting it as a companion to their Tiger Lake CPUs, pitching it as an upgraded graphics option for thin & light notebooks, and a successor of sorts to Intel’s GT3e and GT4e iGPU configurations from past generations. Until recently, we weren’t quite sure when it would show up in commercial products, but recent OEM notebook reveals along with Intel’s earnings announcement are now confirming that the GPU is shipping to OEMs. According to Intel, DG1-equipped notebooks are expected later in Q4. In the meantime, there are still scant few details on DG1 itself, such as expected performance and power consumption; so hopefully Intel will be getting ahead of its OEM partners on this one to set some expectations.

Meanwhile, today’s notes also announce for the very first time the next discrete GPU to come out of Intel, DG2. While obviously still some time off, Intel has completed tape-out and fabbing of the initial alpha silicon, with the company reporting that they’ve powered-on the GPU in their labs.

Somewhat surprisingly, CEO Bob Swan has also confirmed that this isn’t just a DG1 successor, but instead is a higher performing GPU based on the company’s forthcoming Xe-HPG(aming) architecture. First revealed this summer, Xe-HPG is Intel’s enthusiast/gamer-focused architecture, incorporating marquee features found in similar dGPUs like ray tracing. It’s also being manufactured completely external of Intel; while the company hasn’t said which fab and process node is being used, it’s none of Intel’s nodes. So this is the first major piece of external fabbed silicon that we know of to be up and running at Intel.

But like all teasers/financial disclosures, Intel isn’t saying too much more at this time. Nothing new was revealed about the Xe-HPG architecture, and Intel hasn’t clarified whether DG2 is a big, flagship-grade chip, or a more modest, high-volume part. For now, the company is simply saying that DG2 will “take our discrete graphics capability up the stack into the enthusiast segment.”

Source: Intel

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  • ballsystemlord - Thursday, October 22, 2020 - link

    There's so little information from Intel, it's hardly worth a story.
  • PeachNCream - Friday, October 23, 2020 - link

    There are a lot of reasons to hold back details, but still build hype regarding the product launch. Nevertheless, I do agree the information shared at the moment is far too vague.
  • Vitor - Thursday, October 22, 2020 - link

    I believe Intel will struggle to sell those even if they turn out good. Intel is just not seen as a gpu company.
  • inighthawki - Thursday, October 22, 2020 - link

    For gaming, no. But if they price it well and it has decent power efficiency, I could easily see them attracting a certain subset of people who want something "good enough." Maybe someone who does very light gaming, or a home theater PC setup or something.
  • whatthe123 - Friday, October 23, 2020 - link

    their igpus are technically "good enough" for light gaming and especially HTPC (these days many chips are good enough for that even at 4K HDR).

    These are meant to perform above their usual good enough igpus into discrete GPU territory against AMD and Nvidia. I don't think intel will come anywhere near their high end performance for a few generations at least, but I also doubt they will bother shipping something that can't even compete. Whenever larabee/knights failed they'd sweep it under the rug without shipping it out to OEMs.
  • MenhirMike - Friday, October 23, 2020 - link

    Is HDR supported by Intel iGPUs? I remember that it wasn't universal. But yeah, 4K HTPC has been a thing since Kaby Lake added HEVC hardware decoding, and before that, H.264 hardware decoding has been around since forever.
  • vladx - Sunday, October 25, 2020 - link

    Yes Intel's iGPUs support HDR, it's just limited to 4k for both VP9 and HEVC.
  • Mr Perfect - Friday, October 23, 2020 - link

    I really rather hope that Intel DOES have something to compete in the gaming segment, even if it's just the mainstream parts. Nvidia has had to little competition as of late, and even if AMD knocks one out of the park with Big Navi, three companies competing will be better for us then just two. Remember when everyone was annoyed by the 2080 Ti jumping up to $1200? Well, the $1500 3090 doesn't seem to.
  • Kjella - Friday, October 23, 2020 - link

    At more than double the price of the RTX 3080, most people see it as a Titan in all but name. The reviewers all agree you shouldn't buy it for gaming. But sure if you want to pay $800 extra to have 10% higher FPS than the plebs you can. For most people the effective price went down from 2080 Ti to 3080 levels.

    The presentation was actually very similar to the recent AMD launch, pitch the 5900x as the top "normal" processor and then if you really want the best of the best we have a 5950x. Like we're not even going to pretend it's good value, but if you want the absolutely best it's there for you. I'm fine with that, if you have cash to burn it's funding new R&D and not spent on pure frivolity.

    Personally I'm curious to see if Nvidia w/ARM will launch their own assault on the x86 ecosystem, now that Apple is throwing its weight behind ARM processors for the desktop. If they can enlist Google too, they have a fighting chance to take down WinTel (Windows & Intel for the uninitiated).
  • JfromImaginstuff - Saturday, October 24, 2020 - link

    Well, there exists a certain windows 10 for arm, so yeah, not wintel more like Intel and AMD (amtel?)

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