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A new release date has been set for Intel’s next discrete graphics product: laptops equipped with Arc GPUs will begin shipping in Q1 2022. In a press release, Intel has revealed more details about its future consumer graphics card brand, Arc. Arc brand GPUs for laptops will begin shipping this quarter, but customers hoping to buy a desktop GPU will have to wait until Q2 of this year, while workstation graphics cards won’t be available until Q3 of this year.

For the first quarter of 2022, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) will be selling notebooks with Intel Arc graphics, codenamed Alchemist. According to Intel, Alchemist GPUs will feature DirectX 12 Ultimate, mesh shading and variable-rate ray tracing for the first time on their first generation of chips. 

Although Intel intends to sell millions of Arc discrete GPUs, the exact number for desktop PCs is not specified in the release. Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Alienware, and Samsung have all been named as potential suppliers for future Arc products.

With XeSS, the Arc brand will compete with AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution and Nvidia’s DLSS with its own supersampling technology. A few developers have confirmed support for XeSS even before the Arc series is officially introduced. And Death Stranding: Director’s Cut is the first PC game to be verified to use the new technology.

“Battlemage” is the name of Intel’s next “new class of graphics” that will bridge separate and integrated GPUs in 2023, according to a senior Intel official.

Intel is already hard at work on the next two generations of graphics processing units.

Intel Arc “Project Endgame”

“Project Endgame,” a future service for Intel’s Arc GPUs, has been quietly revealed. “We are taking it one step further with launching a software infrastructure initiative called ‘Endgame’ this year. Endgame will give users and developers access to Arc GPUs as a continual compute service. An always available, low latency, persistent, immersive infrastructure.” This is what Koduri describes in his lecture on “Accelerated Computing and Graphics” about ‘Endgame. On the surface, it looks like Intel’s ‘Endgame’ service may be a direct competitor to services like Nvidia GeForce Now or Xbox’s Cloud gaming, which allow players to stream games from a powerful PC somewhere in the world.

Project Endgame is still in its infancy when it comes to details like how much it will cost, what type of GPU access it will give users, and whether or not it will be a gaming product. However, Intel has stated that the device will be released later this year, so we can expect to learn more about it soon.

Intel Arc “Celestial”

“Celestial,” the codename for Intel’s third-generation Arc GPU architecture, has begun development. The third-generation Celestial will be even faster, which suggests that Intel may be aiming to take on graphics cards like Nvidia’s flagship 3090 Ti or AMD’s RX 6900 XT. “Ultra-enthusiast” is what the third generation, codenamed “Celestial,” is all about.

The GPUs market is in flux at the time of this announcement. Customers trying to purchase the latest GPUs are still experiencing challenges due to unprecedented demand and a continuing chip shortage, both of which AMD and Nvidia have been unable to meet. Even though the RTX 3090 Ti has been delayed, Nvidia has been very quiet about it.

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