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Intel’s Next-Generation Xe Discrete Graphics Cards With Up To 512 Cores Spotted in GPU Drivers, Based on Gen 12 GPU Architecture

Jul 26, 2019
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A huge list of codenames for Intel's next-generation Gen 11 and Gen 12 GPUs have leaked out from a test driver posted over at Anandtech Forums (via Hothardware). The list covers the Gen 11, 14nm based Rocket Lake iGPUs and the next-generation Xe architecture which are internally known as Arctic Sound.

Intel Xe Discrete Graphics Cards Spotted in Latest Driver Leak - Four Variants With Up To 512 Cores

We know this much from previous leaks and through what Intel themselves have confirmed that their 10nm Xe GPU lineup would be making its way to the mainstream gaming segment in 2020 while a 7nm follow up is planned for 2021 featuring a more fine-tuned version of the Xe GPU architecture which would utilize Foveros multi-stacking technology and aimed at AI/HPC platforms.

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The four variants that have been leaked go by the name of "iDG1" and "iDG2". The "DG" most likely stands for Discrete Graphics while the "1" and "2" designation is the performance scale of the chip. The four discrete GPUs also include LP and HP variants where LP stands for Low-Power and HP for High-Power variants. What's interesting is that each Xe discrete graphics card is listed with it's EU or Execution Units count. You can think of EUs as the number of cores, similar to NVIDIA's CUDA core and AMD's Stream processor core count. Each core is built and designed differently so unless we know more about Intel's Xe GPU, comparing the core count with NVIDIA and AMD won't be a wise choice.

The EU count on the Xe based discrete graphics family would range from 128, 256 and 512. Since the early Xe graphics cards are most likely be aimed at the mainstream audience, the EU count makes a lot more sense. Following are the variants mentioned in the drivers:

  • iDG1LPDEV = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 LP DG1" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • iDG2HP512 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 HP DG2" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • iDG2HP256 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 HP DG2" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • iDG2HP128 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 HP DG2" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"

Gen 12 is known to be Xe since that's what Tiger Lake CPUs arriving in 2020 would be using.  The Tiger Lake CPUs also appeared in the said driver leak along with their Gen 12 iGPUs. We can't say for sure what the specific SKU would pack in terms of cores and clocks but the variants that were shown in the driver are listed as below:

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  • INTEL_DEV_9A49 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 LP" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • INTEL_DEV_9A40 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 LP" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • INTEL_DEV_9A59 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 LP" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • INTEL_DEV_9A60 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 LP" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • INTEL_DEV_9A68 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 LP" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • INTEL_DEV_9A70 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 LP" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • INTEL_DEV_9A78 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 LP" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • INTEL_DEV_9A7F = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, Gen12 LP" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"

Moving on, we also have the Rocket Lake iGPU leak. The Rocket Lake CPUs are the successors to the Comet Lake CPUs arriving by the end of this year and would feature Gen 11 graphics. Gen 11 is the same GPU architecture that is featured on Ice Lake processors. Currently, rumors are pointing that we won't get to see a desktop launch of Ice Lake processors but instead, Intel would give desktop consumers Comet Lake-S which would be similar to the Coffee Lake-Refresh processors while the Rocket Lake-S CPUs would feature Gen 11 graphics and most probably an enhanced architecture.

  • iRKLLPGT1H32 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, RKL" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • iRKLLPGT1HPro32 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, RKL" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • iRKLLPGT1S32 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, RKL" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • iRKLLPGT0P5S16 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, RKL" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • iRKLLPGT1U32 = "Intel(R) UHD Graphics, RKL" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • iRKLLPGT0P5U16 = "UHD Graphics, RKL" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"
  • iRKLLPGT0 = "UHD Graphics, RKL" "gfx-driver-ci-master-2624"

Rocket Lake processors with Gen 11 iGPUs will come in various configurations ranging from GT0, GT0.5 (16 EUs) and GT1 (32 EUs). Rocket Lake was shown up in recent roadmap leaks as a 14nm chip but also more recently appeared as a 10nm part which makes me assume that it would be a soft-launch for 10nm on desktop platforms. Or Intel could still have 14nm till 2020 and move the desktop platform over to 7nm node when it's available in 2021. Given the current roadmap, we cannot say for sure if that would be the case but we would definitely like to see what Intel has in the plans for the desktop audience too.

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