Intel has revealed new details about its upcoming range of discrete Xe GPUs – including a new gamer-focused chip – during the 2020 Intel Architecture Day.
The company first announced two years ago that it would launch its own discrete graphics cards, which are planned to roll out by 2020.
At CES 2020 in January, Intel detailed its Xe architecture strategy, dividing its GPU chips into three categories – Xe-LP, Xe-HP, and Xe-HPC.
The Xe-LP cards are intended for low power usage scenarios, such as in laptops, while the Xe-HP and Xe-HPC architecture is tailored for datacentre and server use, with features like FP64 and multi-tile scalability.
Intel has now announced another variant for the line-up coming in 2021.
Dubbed Xe-HPG, the chip will specifically target the enthusiast gamer market.
The chip combines elements of each of the three previously-confirmed variants to focus on delivering high floating-point and pixel rendering performance.
While exact specifications are still unclear, Intel said the Xe-HPG will boast hardware-accelerated ray tracing, as well as GDDR6 video memory support.
Intel plans to manufacture the Xe-HPG cards at an external fabricator.
It’s not clear if one of the Xe-HPG cards could be the 500W unit that a previous report from Digital Trends detailed.
According to leaked internal documents acquired by the publication, Intel was working on seven different cards with thermal design powers (TDPs) of 75W, 150W, 300W, and 500W.
By comparison, the most powerful Nvidia graphics card – the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti – has a TDP of 250W.
TDP is an indication of higher power draw, which could indicate higher levels of performance provided the architecture is similar.
Taking on Nvidia and AMD
It remains to be seen if Intel can compete in the standalone GPU market, particularly when it comes to gaming.
While the company dominates the overall GPU market, this is primarily due to the integrated GPUs that come alongside its processors.
For high-performance gaming systems, consumers opt for either Nvidia or AMD cards.
AMD’s custom-built GPUs have been favoured by console manufacturers for many years, and the two next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft will also boast AMD graphics.
The first laptops to feature Intel’s Xe-LP graphics will ship before the end of 2020, alongside the company’s upcoming Tiger Lake processors.