Intel has officially confirmed the postponement of its 1st Gen Arc Alchemist desktop GPUs to the third quarter of this year. Lisa Pearce, VP, and GM of the Visual Compute Group pushed a blog post the other day, stating that the sheer variety found in the DIY segment has resulted in the chipmaker adopting a staggered launch strategy for these parts. Like the mobile GPUs, the desktop SKUs too will be launched in the Asian markets at first as part of OEM designs next months, followed by the retail release sometime in the third quarter.
Question #1: Can you update us on the status of your Intel® Arc™ graphics mobile products?
We have been working closely with OEM partners to get Intel Arc graphics mobile designs fully launched. First was Samsung which started with availability in Korea and is expanding globally. (perkinswill.com) We planned to have broader OEM availability at this point; however, we have had some software readiness delays and, together with COVID lock downs impacting global supply chains, OEM designs are only this month becoming more widely available.
Despite the constraints, our OEM partners have announced laptops with Intel Arc 3 graphics – including Samsung, Lenovo, Acer, HP, and Asus – and we are working with our partners to help them get these products into market ASAP. Laptops with Intel Arc 5 and Arc 7 graphics will start becoming available in early summer.
Question #2: When are the desktop cards with Intel Arc graphics coming?
Unlike notebook designs, desktop systems have a vast set of combinations, including memory, motherboards, and CPUs. To initially limit some of this variation, we will launch working with system builders and OEMs with specific configurations.
We will release our entry-level Intel Arc A-series products for desktops (A3) first in China through system builders and OEMs in Q2. Etail and retail component sales will follow shortly in China as well. Proximity to board components and strong demand for entry-level discrete products makes this a natural place to start. Our next step will be to scale these products globally.
Roll-out of Intel Arc A5 and A7 desktop cards will start worldwide with OEMs and system integrators later this summer, followed by component sales in worldwide channels.
This staggered approach gives us confidence at each step that we can effectively serve our customer base.
This essentially means that Intel hasn’t been able to test the Arc A series GPUs on several dozen video cards released over the past 2 to 4 years. It will be a most challenging task for Intel to develop drivers for older gamers leveraging the older DX11 API as much of the optimization tasks fall to the driver team, unlike DX12 where a large chunk of it is handled by the game engine and developers.