It’s no secret that Intel has been working on a new line of GPUs for both desktops and laptops for quite some, and today Intel finally announced the new brand name covering all of its upcoming high-end graphics products: Intel Arc.
While specific details remain scarce, in a new press release published on Monday, Intel said the first product in the Arc family is codenamed Alchemist, and that the first batch of Alchemist products is slated to arrive sometime in Q1 2022.
Intel says Alchemist (which was formerly called DG2) is based on Intel’s XE HPG microarchitecture and will include support for hardware-based ray tracing and AI-powered super sampling, along with full DirectX 12 compatibility. Unfortunately, Intel isn’t saying much when it comes to actual performance metrics, though Intel has promised to provide “more specifics” about Alchemist sometime before the end of the year.
Regardless, Intel positioning itself to better compete with AMD and Nvidia’s graphics offerings is a big deal, with Intel hoping to become a real third horse when it comes to gaming GPUs, instead of simply relying on less powerful integrated graphics solutions.
Intel’s vice president and general manager of Client Graphics Products, Roger Chandler, says:
Today marks a key moment in the graphics journey we started just a few years ago. The launch of the Intel Arc brand and the reveal of future hardware generations signifies Intel’s deep and continued commitment to gamers and creators everywhere. We have teams doing incredible work to ensure we deliver first-class and frictionless experiences when these products are available early next year.
Looking forward, it appears Intel is relying on an alphabetical naming scheme for future Arc generations similar to what Google did for previous Android releases, except that instead of desserts, Intel is going with fantasy classes starting with Alchemist, followed by Battlemage, Celestial, and Druid.
In addition to discrete GPUs and gaming hardware, Intel says the Arc brand will also span software and services, with Intel’s long-term goal being to provide “frictionless gaming and content creation experiences to gamers and creators worldwide.”
That said, Intel’s Arc products will ultimately live and die based on the kind of value and performance they offer, along with how many new GPUs Intel can provide to retailers, which given the current availability of graphics cards, could result in a challenging launch with Q1 2022 just months away.