Intel may have delayed the launch of its Arc “Alchemist” graphics cards to the second half of 2022. While this hasn’t been confirmed just yet, the chipmaker has quietly changed the launch date on its official website to “2022” from “Q1 2022”. The fact that no concrete details regarding the Xe-HPG lineup were shared at Intel’s CES 2022 keynote makes this even more likely. To top it off, this isn’t the first time the Arc lineup has been delayed. Originally, Intel’s first offerings for gamers were slated to hit the market sometime in 2021, but then after much waiting the announcement was pushed to the first half of 2022. Now, it seems like the schedule has once again slipped by a quarter or two.
Intel revealed its GPU partners at its CES 2022 keynote, but not much else. OEMs and ODMs have already received test samples of the Arc GPUs, with over 50 notebooks and pre-built PCs expected to feature the Alchemist range of graphics cards later this year. The OEMs include ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, ACER, Samsung, HP, Dell, Haier, Clevo, etc.
Intel shared the architectural details of its Alchemist GPUs last year. The 1st Gen Arc graphics cards will not only support full-fledged hardware-accelerated ray-tracing but come with an open-source (neural network powered) upscaling algorithm, XeSS as well. A few titles will already support the technology by the time the graphics cards hit retail.
It’s hard to explain the reason behind the delay, but if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say it’s because of some hiccups on the driver/software side. From what we know, the silicon is more or less ready for production. There’s a chance that the limited production capacity of the 6nm process is causing the delay, but given TSMC’s reputation, that’s unlikely.