Intel just tweeted a teaser trailer confirming its pledge to deliver a discrete graphics card by 2020. The short video, packed with references to Intel’s past accomplishments in the graphics space, ends with a promise from Intel to “set our graphics free” in 2020. It’s all starting to get interesting.
The video was posted from a recently created Twitter account called Intel Graphics, and has been retweeted by Intel’s official account and the new Intel VP of the core and visual computing group, Raja Koduri. Koduri left AMD and Radeon at the end of 2017, shortly after the Vega architecture launched, and is now spearheading Intel’s return to discrete graphics after eight long years of disinterest.
Intel has tried to break into the discrete graphics segment in the past, but with limited success. The infamous Intel Larrabee project was an attempt to create a hybrid GPGPU processor back in 2010, however, the project was cancelled that same year. It eventually spawned off other products in the Intel lineup, eventually lending to the Xeon Phi processor. Sadly, this chip lineup wasn’t to last either, and the entire project now looks to be in jeopardy.
But Intel has high hopes for its next discrete graphics product, which it touts as “just the beginning”. If rumours are to be believed, Intel’s discrete graphics product, codename Arctic Sound, will be facing off with the efervescent competition that currently dominates the gaming market.
It won’t be easy to keep up with giants of Nvidia and AMD. Both have a significant R&D lead, even to the point of encroaching Intel’s dominance in other areas of computing outside of graphics, and Intel needs to play catch up in both the hardware and software space to get anywhere close to either teams’ parallel performance.
— Intel Graphics (@IntelGraphics) August 15, 2018
Intel has noticeably re-energised its gaming driver marketing as of late. It was only last week when Intel launched its graphics optimisation website: gameplay.intel. The site launch coincided with the release of driver optimisations for WoW: Battle for Azeroth, Yakuza, and Overcooked 2.
Nvidia is on the cusp of releasing its RTX 2080 graphics card, which will be announced on August 20, 208 at the Nvidia GeForce Gaming Celebration. The green team will supposedly be bringing ray tracing to the mainstream before the end of the year with the Nvidia Turing-based Quadro lineup, too.
Meanwhile AMD is expected to launch its first consumer 7nm graphics cards in 2019. Intel’s 2020 discrete GPU will likely be built using the rival 10nm process – which has faced significant delays so far.