Published in Graphics

Koduri outlines the state of the Arc

by on18 February 2022

We have got two animals but this might take longer than 40 days and nights 

Raja Koduri, Intel’s SVP and GM of the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) Group delivered an update on the state of Intel’s first generation of Arc graphics and it looks like that it will be a long time before we see anything.

The former AMD GPU cheerleader confirmed that while Intel will indeed ship the first Arc mobile products in the current quarter, desktop products will not come until the second quarter. Intel is now projecting that they’ll ship 4mil+ Arc GPUs this year.

This confirmed some earlier suspicions that Chipzilla would get its mobile Arc products out before their desktop products. Desktop products will now follow in the second quarter of this year, a couple of months behind the mobile parts. And finally, workstation products, which Intel has previously hinted at, are on their way and will land in the third quarter.

Koduri did not provide further details as to why Intel has its much-awaited Arc Alchemist architecture-based desktop products trailing their mobile products by a quarter. The Alchemist family is comprised of two GPUs and it might be that Intel is farther ahead on manufacturing and delivering the smaller of the two GPUs, which would be best suited for laptops.

It is equally possible that Intel wants to focus on laptops first since it would allow them to start with OEM devices, and then expand into the more complex add-in board market a bit later. It means that we will not get the chance to see how Intel’s first high-end GPU architecture fares, against the top end from Nvidia or AMD for a while.

Intel is expecting to ship over four million GPUs in 2022 which shows the low volume of Alchemist chips that Intel is expecting to flog. Assuming AMD and NVIDIA deliver as many chips in 2022 as they did in 2021, Intel will be adding at most no more than another 10 per cent to the overall volume of GPUs sold.

Along with the update on Alchemist, Koduri’s presentation also offered a brief update on Celestial, Intel’s third Arc architecture. Celestial is now under development, and at this point, Intel is expecting it to be their first product to address the ultra-enthusiast market.

GPUs based on the Celestial architecture are expected in the “2024+” timeframe so Chipzilla can't say if they will 2024 or 2025 products, or if the world will have melted down in the heat death of the sun by that point.

Between Alchemist and Celestial is Battlemage, the second of Intel’s Arc GPU architectures which now is expected between 2023-2024. Intel expects the architecture to improve performance over Alchemist to the point where Battlemage will be competitive in the enthusiast GPU market – but not quite reaching the ultra-enthusiasts level.

This means that Battlemage will be the first Arc GPU architecture to make it into Intel’s CPUs. Chipzilla wants it as a tile on Meteor Lake CPUs, making this the crossover point where Intel’s current Xe-LP GPU architecture is retired.


Last modified on 19 February 2022
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