Intel’s Q3 earnings report may have managed to remain in the green, but the company was hammered by analysts and stakeholders alike. Intel announced further delays to its 7nm CPU lineups, with 10nm Ice Lake-SP technically delayed to 2021 (volume production). This means that the 7nm based Sapphire Rapids-SP will either be delayed by a couple of months to late 2021, but we expect an ETA of no earlier than H1 2022.
In the client segment, Intel says that sampling for the hybrid processors, Alder Lake-S has already started. It will be Intel’s first 10nm based desktop lineup leveraging the Golden Cove and Grace Mont cores. However, considering that Rocket Lake-S is slated to arrive in the first quarter of 2021, Alder Lake-S won’t show up anytime before Q4 2021. A delay to 2022 is also very plausible.
There was some positive news on the company’s discrete GPU initiative (Xe). The company’s first dGPU, DG1 is now shipping, going by the name of Iris Xe Max. It comes with 96 EUs based on the Gen12 architecture, 4GB memory and 16MB of L3 cache. The bus width will either be 64-bit or 128-bit. It’ll be exclusive to Tiger Lake-U notebooks.
Intel also said that DG2, the successor to DG1 is back from the foundries and has been powered on. Unlike DG1, DG2 will be part of the Xe-HPG lineup that is intended for the mainstream gaming lineup.
Intel didn’t say how fast DG2 will be or how it will be priced, however. The only thing that was mentioned is, “DG2 will “take our discrete graphics capability up the stack into the enthusiast segment.”
From the few leaks we’ve witnessed in the last month, it appears that the Xe-HPG or at least DG2 will feature up to 512 EUs or 4,096 cores, making it powerful enough to compete with at least the budget range, RTX 3060/RX 6700 XT. Ray-tracing will either be missing or not up to the mark from what we’ve heard.