Intel's Arc GPU lineup and the subsequent graphics products have faced major controversy ever since the lineup missed its initial launch schedule in 2021. Now some internal documents & a list of leaked roadmaps regarding the Arc graphics card lineup have been shared by Moore's Law is Dead which might give a sense of what's really going on at Intel's Graphics Division.
Intel Arc GPUs & Desktop Graphics Cards Allegedly "Original" Roadmap Detailed, Lineup Faces Major Delay, Talks of Refreshes & Cancellations
Intel Graphics' original marketing team was led by Chris Hook who stated that the first discrete graphics products will be available by 2020. Two years have passed since and the GPU lineup is far from public availability. The Graphics division is still spearheaded by Raja Koduri, a brilliant & highly ambitious, and visionary engineer who's applauded for his work by his former employer, AMD. Joining the ranks of Intel's Graphics marketing team were Tom Petersen (former technical marketing manager at NVIDIA) and Ryan Shrout (Chief Editor at PCPerspective).
Both Intel reps have been doing rounds over at YouTube and social channels to provide us an update on their current and upcoming Arc GPUs but while we have been told that Arc discrete graphics cards are getting ready for a major launch later this summer, things may not be going as planned for Intel's Graphics division.
Intel Arc Roadmap: July Launched Pushed Back To September?
As Moore's Law is Dead points out with several alleged documents & roadmaps that come directly from Intel, it looks like the Arc discrete graphics card lineup may have slipped past its original time-frame massively. In an Arc Graphics Desktop SKU schedule, we can see that a global launch of the lineup was scheduled by the end of July and would've included a total of four products for desktop consumers. This was supposed to be a hard launch with global availability of Arc GPUs from OEMs & SIs while a DIY launch was expected around the end of August.
The same roadmap also states that Intel's Arctic Sound-M, a lineup that was originally going to be on a far grander scheme with multiple high-end workstation SKUs planned under the Xe-HP brand but was later canned, would be launching on 26th July but only yesterday, Intel provided another teaser of its Arctic Sound-M discrete GPUs which will be incorporated within server racks from OEMs such as Supermicro. So this kind of makes the roadmap believable considering there was something on Intel's graphics roadmap agenda that happened close to the expected date.
We have a sneak peek for you Graphics fans out there, coming from @CodeNative. Be one of the first to see what 10 Intel Data Center GPUs, codenamed Arctic Sound-M (ATS-M) will look like in a @Supermicro_SMCI server! https://t.co/W2FwFN8VJW pic.twitter.com/qOUFLfmzcs
— Intel Graphics (@IntelGraphics) July 28, 2022
Our data center GPU code-named Arctic Sound-M has started production and is now shipping to customers supporting a diverse range of workloads, starting with media streaming and cloud gaming, followed by support for AI visual inference and virtual desktops.
Intel CEO, Pat Gelsinger, Q2 2022 Earnings Call
An interesting event is known as the "Desktop Launch Event: The Arc Experience" was also planned close to SIGGRAPH 2022 in the coming month which would've included press deep dives and a customer showcase panel. That may have been slipped to late September as the only customer showcase that Intel themselves has talked about is the "Intel Truck" with several Arc-powered PCs which will be heading out to LANFest though that event is scheduled for late September.
Intel Arc Desktop Launch Rumored Schedule (Image Credits: Moore's Law is Dead):
Intel's Initial Arc Global Launch Was Supposed To Include Four Desktop SKUs
So let's talk about those four SKUs that were going to see an alleged global launch this month. These include the following:
- SKU 1: Intel Arc A770
- SKU 2: Intel Arc A750
- SKU 3: Intel Arc A580
- SKU 6: Intel Arc A380
Intel Arc A-Series Desktop Graphics Card Lineup 'Rumored':
|Graphics Card Variant||GPU Variant||GPU Die||Execution Units||Shading Units (Cores)||Memory Capacity||Memory Speed||Memory Bus||TGP||Price||Status|
|Arc A770||Xe-HPG 512EU (TBD)||Arc ACM-G10||512 EUs (TBD)||4096 (TBD)||16 GB GDDR6||16 Gbps||256-bit||225W||$349-$399 US||Officially Announced|
|Arc A770||Xe-HPG 512EU (TBD)||Arc ACM-G10||512 EUs (TBD)||4096 (TBD)||8 GB GDDR6||16 Gbps||256-bit||225W||$349-$399 US||Confirmed Through Leak|
|Arc A750||Xe-HP3G 448EU (TBD)||Arc ACM-G10||448 EUs (TBD)||3584 (TBD)||8 GB GDDR6||16 Gbps||256-bit||225W||$299-$349 US||Officially Announced|
|Arc A580||Xe-HPG 256EU (TBD)||Arc ACM-G10||256 EUs (TBD)||2048 (TBD)||8 GB GDDR6||16 Gbps||128-bit||175W||$200-$299 US||Confirmed Through Leak|
|Arc A380||Xe-HPG 128EU (TBD)||Arc ACM-G11||128 EUs||1024||6 GB GDDR6||15.5 Gbps||96-bit||75W||$129-$139 US||Officially Launched|
|Arc A310||Xe-HPG 64 (TBD)||Arc ACM-G11||64 EUs (TBD)||512 (TBD)||4 GB GDDR6||16 Gbps||64-bit||75W||$59-$99 US||Confirmed Through Leak|
We have almost mostly confirmed five SKUs within the Arc desktop discrete graphics card family including the most entry-level Arc A310. Intel has confirmed the Arc A380, Arc A750, and the Arc A770 but we have full evidence through leaked benchmarks that the Arc A580 exists too. We have seen the Arc A770 Limited Edition, Arc A750 Limited Edition, and Arc A380 in two custom flavors, 1 of which is already available in retail but limited to the Chinese market. This is far from a global launch. The DT SKU Schedule roadmap states that the four SKUs were meant to be available in SI and OEM PCs by July 2022 following a DIY launch in August but that doesn't seem to be happening any time soon.
In fact, Intel has stated that they only just received the Limited Edition models which will be sold by them and certain retail partners at the start. As for what's happening in the DIY scene, well it's a bit complicated. The Arc A380 for example was supposed to have at least five AIB models prepared at its launch however, there's only one ready for retail so far by a China-specific manufacturer.
The more prominent names such as ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, ASRock, etc have yet to start offering their custom designs. I'll confirm what Moore's Law is Dead says here most manufacturers aren't being communicated correctly by Intel and most of them don't even know what the final launch schedule is. I have talked with four different manufacturers over the past few weeks to see if they have Arc A380 custom models ready and all they were able to say was that they will have product pages go live in a few weeks but they weren't sure about the availability at all. So first up, you are missing the expected "July" launch for the Arc A380 and secondly, your partners in the DIY market aren't even sure when their own products will go on shelves.
For AXG, while we will not hit our GPU unit target, we remain on track to deliver over $1 billion in revenue this year. In Q2, we started to ramp Intel Arc graphics for laptops and OEMs, including Samsung, Lenovo, Acer, HP and Asus. COVID-related supply chain issues and our own software-readiness challenges caused availability delays that we continue to work to overcome.
Intel Arc A5 and A7 desktop cards will start to ship in Q3. Our energy-efficient blockchain accelerator Blockscale achieved a major milestone in Q2 with revenue shipments to our lead customers, going from tape-in to shipping in less than a year. We expect to ship millions of units this year, not originally in our forecast.
Intel CEO, Pat Gelsinger, Q2 2022 Earnings Call
Meanwhile, Intel's CEO, Pat Gelsinger, reassured us during the grim Q2 2022 earnings call that Arc A5 and A7 desktop graphics cards will start to ship in Q3 2022 so we have up till September to see if that ends up being the case.
Intel Arc Desktop Launch Rumored SKUs Schedule (Image Credits: Moore's Law is Dead):
Intel Arc Desktop Launch Rumored AIB Launch (Image Credits: Moore's Law is Dead):
Intel Arc Refresh & Cancellation Rumors Mounting Up
Given that Intel's Arc GPUs and the graphics lineup have been off to such a bad start, there are already rumors following that Intel themselves would cancel Arc soon after its launch. I would say that it is still very early to say where Arc would go and while Arc is definitely not in the best shape or form, a company like Intel won't want to give up on such a huge project just one generation after release. But I think it's more important for Intel to communicate the right news to its customers rather than building up the hype that could end up hurting the brand in its infancy.
There are also rumors of Intel's future Arc GPUs such as Battlemage and Celestial being pushed back due to similar challenges and an Alchemist Refresh for mobile (and even desktops) being launched in the first half of 2023. This would mean that Alchemist would have to compete against NVIDIA's and AMD's next-gen GPU solutions which will be miles ahead of Arc and the only saving grace for Intel would be to price it at a peanuts rate. Intel's software side of Arc has definitely been a major bottleneck but we still hope that Intel's Arc and Graphics Division can make a big comeback from all this negativity and the right thing to do right now is to be clear about what's going on, not only with its partners but also its future customers!