American multinational corporation and technology company Intel has launched the Intel Arc brand for discrete high-performance consumer GPUs, as well as related software and services aimed primarily at gamers.
This new Arc brand will include Intel’s high-end discrete GPU hardware and software, as well as many hardware generations. The first of these, originally known as DG2, is set to arrive in Q1 2022 under the codename “Alchemist.” Intel’s Arc-based Alchemist GPUs will be available in desktops and notebooks in early 2022, putting Intel in direct competition with AMD and Nvidia.
Intel’s Arc GPUs will be capable of mesh shading, variable-rate shading, video upscaling, and real-time ray tracing. Most notably, Intel promises AI-accelerated super sampling, implying that it will compete with Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology.
AMD released its FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) response to DLSS, however, it solely uses spatial upscaling rather than AI-based temporal upscaling. All of these technologies are designed to upscale games from a lower resolution to deliver smoother frame rates without sacrificing visual quality.
Mr. Roger Chandler, head of Intel’s client GPU business commented that “The launch of the Intel Arc brand and the reveal of future hardware generations signifies Intel’s deep and continued commitment to gamers and creators everywhere, we have teams doing incredible work to ensure we deliver first-class and frictionless experiences when these products are available early next year.”
Intel has been working on graphics for long years and had stated that discrete GPUs would be available by 2020. It will compete against Nvidia and AMD, which have had a duopoly on the GPU market until recently when strong demand from cryptocurrency miners and a global microprocessor manufacturing shortage drove prices up.
Intel showed its DG1 demo card at CES 2020, which was only available to developers. The Iris Xe Max discrete GPU for notebooks was released in late 2020, and the Xe architecture has also been employed in several current Intel Core CPUs for integrated GPUs.
Intel recognizes that there are more than three billion gamers in the world, many of whom are power users, content creators, and multitaskers. Over one billion hours of game material were uploaded to YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and other platforms last year, with over 28 billion hours watched.