Raja Koduri, Intel’s Mr. Graphics, has teased a potential June 2020 release date for the Intel Xe graphics card. The PC hardware industry does so love a cryptic release date tease; Nvidia went to the effort of creating a YouTube video specifically to tease the ‘Not_11’ RTX 20-series ahead of its Gamescom 2018 reveal, and Intel itself used some dodgy coffee cup placement in an 8th Gen CPU reveal to tease the Coffee Lake chips’ release date.
Okay, so neither of those were that cryptic, and honestly this one from Raja doesn’t seem to be either. Taking to Twitter, Koduri snapped a picture of a Tesla Model X with a ‘THINKXE’ plate dated June 2020 and tagged Intel Graphics in it. Now either he’s just publicly showing off his car’s trashy custom plate to his graphics engineering team or we now know when to expect to see the first discrete Intel graphics card.
I’m going to lean towards the second option. I’ve only met Raja a couple of times, and while he’s definitely a big character in the tech world, he doesn’t seem to be ‘that guy.’
You can check out the image below (via RespawnFirst), and let’s be fair, if Raja was looking to show off his car then you’d have hoped he would have had it waxed first, or at least given it a little wash. Seriously, that thing’s grubby as…
— Raja Koduri (@Rajaontheedge) October 4, 2019
The discrete Intel Xe graphics cards have had a 2020 release window tagged onto them since they were first spoken about back in 2018. And now it genuinely looks like less than two years after the GPU sizzle reel was first revealed we will actually be able to get an Intel GPU slapped into our test rig’s expectant PCIe slot.
That’s incredibly exciting, and will give us a third combatant in the graphics card wars which have previously only seen AMD and Nvidia going head-to-head. Intel has been quite candid about where it expects the first Xe GPUs to sit in relation to its more-established competitors, but even if it can at least start to compete with low-end Radeon or GeForce GPUs that could have a huge impact on the market.
We’ve already seen price/performance metrics improve with AMD and Nvidia competing on a more even footing, and with a three-way battle the consumer is only going to benefit. That said, traditionally when there’s been a three-way battle over anything in the hardware space one of them always falls away leaving only two behind…
Could Intel take out one of the big two, or will it exit the discrete GPU game as quickly as it entered it? Intel has said it sees the Xe GPU as only the beginning of its graphics odyssey, and with its increasing focus on AI, having the parallel processing power of a high-performance GPU in its arsenal is only going to benefit Intel on the professional side. Having a quality gaming GPU too could just be a happy side-effect.
Raja has also teased some sort of Architecture Day 2.0 event in early 2020, so fingers-crossed that’s where we hear more details of the upcoming Intel Xe GPU ahead of its June 2020 launch.