TECH NEWS – While most of Intel’s engineers are looking towards next-gen Arc, the drive team primarily focuses on Alchemist.
There’s been a lot of talk in recent weeks that Intel’s graphics division, AXG, is finally shutting down. We still don’t know exactly what’s going on behind closed doors, and we’re unlikely to get any such insight, but company engineers have now said that Intel remains as committed as ever to its graphics roadmap – and that includes gaming graphics cards.
“I want to be clear: we’re not going anywhere” – Tom Petersen, Intel
“We’re not going anywhere in our discrete business. And our discrete business is the core technology development that goes into both data centres and integrated GPUs,” says Tom Petersen, Intel’s chief executive.
“I feel there is a lot of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) out there. I want to be clear: we’re not going anywhere,” he continues.
“The thing that I happen to believe – Pat, myself, Roger, Lisa and Ryan, everybody agrees that graphics is a critical technology for customers, a critical technology for data centres, and we want to compete in the mainstream space where our competitors are making a lot of money. So all three things are critical for Intel.”
Of course, this is not necessarily a promise that nothing will ever change in Intel’s approach to graphics, gaming or anything else. Still, those closest to its game graphics products are as committed as ever. Given that the company has confirmed that it has at least three more generations of Arc GPUs on the roadmap – Battlemage, Celestial and Druid – that’s good news.
Petersen confirmed that development on Battlemage has already begun, and most Arc graphics engineers are now turning their attention to the second generation. Some engineers are even looking at early Celestial “technology proof points”.
While the company still has a lot of work to do with its drivers, it is not only working on not-so-good DX11 support but also continuing to support new and upcoming games on DX12 and Vulkan.
And Intel confirms that it remains committed to competing with later generations of the Arc at the top end of the market, something that the first generation has so far failed to achieve.
“Our plan is to start here, and then keep stepping up and stepping up. This strategy is not really difficult to understand because we start with the volume segment of the market and then over time we will grow into higher and higher performance segments.”
In summary, Intel has plenty of room to develop these graphics cards.
Nvidia and AMD will also have another generation of GPUs on the way by then, which is sure to be exciting, so it’s entirely possible that some plans will change as a result.
Intel is focused on releasing Alchemist 1st Gen cards for now, with the A770 and A750 cards expected to be released in the near future.