We have known for quite some time that Intel is working on its own discrete GPU. Back in November, the company announced the hiring of Raja Koduri — formerly of AMD — and stated that he would “expand Intel’s leading position in integrated graphics for the PC market with high-end discrete graphics solutions for a broad range of computing segments.”
Intel today provided one additional tidbit of information regarding its discrete “Arctic Sound” GPU aspirations: a launch date. According to a rather brief tweet, Intel says that its GPU family will be available in 2020, after which it links to that old article from 2017 announcing Koduri’s arrival.
Intel’s first discrete GPU coming in 2020: https://t.co/s9EPeFifBp pic.twitter.com/n5zmUY2Mc2
— Intel News (@intelnews) June 12, 2018
Koduri currently serves as Intel’s chief architect and SVP of the newly created Core and Visual Computing Group. If you recall, Koduri was instrumental in developing AMD’s Vega GPU architecture that powers the Radeon RX Vega graphics cards. His expertise is critical in helping Intel to compete with the like of not just AMD, but GPU juggernaut NVIDIA.
Unfortunately, that’s all we have to go on at the moment — at least with regards to new confirmed information from Intel. The company did, however, discuss its aspiration for its Core and Visual Computing Group back in November. “We have exciting plans to aggressively expand our computing and graphics capabilities and build on our very strong and broad differentiated IP foundation,” said Dr. Murthy Renduchintala, Intel’s chief engineering officer and group president of the Client and Internet of Things Businesses and System Architecture.
“With Raja at the helm of our Core and Visual Computing Group, we will add to our portfolio of unmatched capabilities, advance our strategy to lead in computing and graphics, and ultimately be the driving force of the data revolution.”
Intel definitely has the resources to develop a world-class GPU, but the question is can the company execute on a year-after-year basis with high-performance GPUs that can compete with the best that AMD and NVIDIA have to offer? NVIDIA hasn’t had a serious challenge at the top-end of the enthusiast market, which explains why the company is still content with promoting its two-year-old Pascal architecture. In fact, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang recently stated that the next-generation GeForce GTX cards are coming “a long time from now”.
Having a competent third player in the market via Intel could help liven the enthusiast GPU market (assuming that Intel can lineup enough AIB partners) and could make things at lot more competitive and interesting for enthusiasts. Intel already has the marketing side covered by hiring former AMD exec Chris Hook, who will lead Discrete Graphics and Visual Technologies Marketing. Intel has also stepped up its software driver development in preparation for the robust driver software platform that it will need to support its discrete GPU efforts. Now if it can put all of these pieces together, AMD and NVIDIA may need to watch their backs frequently in the coming years…