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Intel Discrete GPU Codenamed Arctic Sound Will Have Gaming Variant, Landing in 2020

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Apr 6, 2018
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We covered Intel’s upcoming Arctic Sound and Jupiter Sound a while back and while it seemed that Raja Koduri would be focusing primarily on edge and datacenter applications with Intel’s discrete GPU division, more information has surfaced which tells a different (and very interesting story). It looks like Arctic Sound is going to have a gaming variant after all and will be landing sometime in 2020.

Raja working on Intel Arctic Sound discrete GPU for gaming, will be an MCM product

The industry had been abuzz with speculation ever since Intel first announced its plans to enter the discrete GPU market. Word on the street back then was that the efforts will be focused only on edge applications (such as video streaming) and maybe some data center products. Ashraf Eassa of TheMotleyFool, however, has a scoop to tell: there will be a gaming variant as well. In fact, it seems the idea to enter the gaming graphics market was Raja’s all along (anyone surprised?).

The codenames of Intel’s upcoming discrete GPUs are Arctic Sound and Jupiter Sound. Arctic Sound will be the first iteration of Intel discrete GPU and will constitute 12th Generation graphics. According to Eassa, they will be fabricated using the EMIB (Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge) to connect to the processor which means we will almost certainly be looking at integrated packages like the Vega MH and Intel 8809G. So far, however, it was thought that these solutions will be restricted to edge applications – but this is no longer the case.

Arctic Sound, as it transpires will have a gaming variant as well. Which means we are going to be seeing this in the mainstream in a few years. The tentative timeline given for this product is by 2020 and knowing how roadmaps work could even be further off. According to Ashraf’s sources, the Arctic Sound discrete GPU will be an MCM module with multiple dies connected via EMIB and will go head to head against Intel and AMD’s offering. So here it is folks, its (unofficially) official: Intel is entering the graphics card market to take on the Red-Green duopoly although considering their working relationship Intel and AMD might have a friendlier relationship then NVIDIA.

A mockup of how a dedicated GPU from Intel might look like. Arctic Sound is initially planned to be an integrated affair so it might be some time before we see a card like this.

The use of an MCM technique will allow Intel to keep pace with both NVIDIA and AMD which have years of experience over the former – but its world-class fabrication facilities might give it the edge it needs – no pun intended. Raja Koduri’s experience will, of course, be instrumental to Intel’s dGPU ambitions and could singlehandedly put the company on the gaming graphics map. Raja is already working on Arctic Sound and the design process is underway. Intel’s fabs will, of course, require significant re-tooling so increased R&D on their financials will be one indicator that the company has started work on the project.

The successor to Arctic Sound will be Jupiter Sound which will constitute the 13th generation of Intel graphics. Timeline for this product is as yet unknown but we shouldn’t expect it to exist on anything except paper right now. Depending on how successful Arctic Sound is, we should see a big leap in performance going forward from the 1st generation of Intel discrete graphics (Arctic Sound). This isn’t the first time Intel has ventured into the discrete graphics section (Larabee) but this is the first time they have done so with this much ambition, talent, gusto and frankly- the requisite technical level.

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