Intel is planning an “early 2020” architecture day… we want Xe GPU deets

Coming well over a year since the last Architecture Day in 2018, Raja's promised something for early 2020

Intel Xe graphics card

Raja Koduri has confirmed that Intel will be doing some sort of Architecture Day 2.0 event early in 2020. That would put it just over a year after the previous Architecture Day even where Raja, Jim Keller, and Murthy Renduchintala introduced its new Foveros chip packaging tech, the new Sunny Cove CPU architecture, and spoke about its plans for discrete graphics processing.

The previous event happened in December in Santa Clara, but we’re not really expecting too much in the way of new info this side of the new year to necessitate a similar outing. Desktop Comet Lake chips are unlikely to roll out before 2020 at this rate, not with the Core i9 9900KS only hitting the shelves in October, and we’re already starting to see 10nm Ice Lake machines being released.

But 2020 is going to be a big year for the big blue chip maker. There’s Comet Lake, which will only be of interest to you if you have an interest in an Intel 10-core, or the company decides it needs to start slashing prices in the face of Ryzen; but the biggest splash will be made by Intel’s 2020 Xe graphics silicon.

That must surely be one of the main focuses of any architecture day happening at the start of the year. We’ve heard precious little about the Intel Xe GPUs except a few words about how the underlying Gen12 graphics will be the biggest architectural change in a decade. That’s somewhat reassuring… I’d be really concerned about just what sort of graphics card we might find ourselves with if Intel wasn’t carrying out some huge architectural change with the Xe design.

The confirmation that Intel is planning such an event came from Raja himself, replying to a question about an Architecture Day 2.0 in a Twitter thread about beard growth. Seriously.

Here’s hoping we get some juicy details about how exactly Intel is planning on bringing the pretties to PC gaming with its brand new discrete graphics card range, and how it’s planning on scaling from server class GPUs, to gaming cards, and mobile Tiger Lake chips.

Intel Xe graphics roadmap

We know that Intel is starting with discrete gaming GPUs next year, but as for what’s actually inside the Xe architecture we’re mostly expecting an evolution of the new Gen11 GPUs that are propping up the 10nm Ice Lake processors finally launched this year. That would mean a multi-slice design, with rumours pointing to either 1024, 2048, or 4096 ‘cores’ built into them.

At the moment it’s all speculation, but fingers crossed an early 2020 Architecture Day will shed more light on Intel’s fascinating next-gen graphics silicon.

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