Intel’s Raja Koduri On Next Generation Battlemage And Celestial GPU Roadmap: Yes, Absolutely!

Usman Pirzada

Intel's GPU boss Raja Koduri recently gave an interview to Gadgets360 and in it were some nuggets of further confirmations and a hint of new information. He also reiterated absolute commitment to the Arc GPU roadmap, which is something we have previously confirmed to our readers. If you want to read the full interview, you can head over to Gadgets360 to do so although a lot of the Q&A pertains to the Indian region.

Intel remains absolutely committed to next generation of Arc GPUs: Battlemage and Celestial

Before we go any further, here are the relevant excerpts from the interview:

  • Are you going to be sticking to the roadmap for Battlemage and Celestial?

Raja Koduri: Yes, absolutely.

  • Intel has stated that it is working on optimising for the top 100 games that are still DX11 and DX9. Is that happening? And how quickly is it going to be rolled out?

Raja Koduri: I think you should see a big update before Christmas.

  • Are GPU design cycles also around 24 to 30 months long, as with CPUs for Intel?

Raja Koduri: Not really. Doing a new architecture is always very difficult. New architectures take 3-4 years but after that once you have a baseline, iterating on it is quite fast. Since we are coming from nothing, we want to iterate fast so that we can catch up to the competition in every segment.

  • When you say more is coming in 2023 and there will be more board partners, does that mean the next generation is coming in 2023?

Raja Koduri: I won't talk too much about Battlemage, but Arc itself has a lot of headroom.

Interview snippet credit: Gadgets360.

Notice that while Raja was absolutely willing to say that Intel is sticking to the roadmap, he declined to comment on specific timelines for 2023. This is in in-line with what I told our readers in an exclusive when the Arc cancellation rumors first surfaced:

  • Intel will internally decide on whether an Alchemist refresh is appropriate or not by 2023 - before introducing Battlemage. This decision has not been made yet. This does not constitute a cancellation of Arc anymore than it constituted a cancellation of AMD Radeon (AMD utilized the Polaris chip for multiple generations: 4xx, 5xx, 6xx).
  • Delays aside, *as of right now* Intel remains committed to bringing Battlemage to discrete desktop graphics. Barring any black swan event, you should see Battlemage in discrete desktop format by late 2023 or early 2024 depending on how fast the R&D goes.

Extract from our "The Future of Intel Arc" exclusive.

As I mentioned, Intel is going to take an internal decision on whether or not an Alchemist refresh is warranted (depending on the state of the GPU market - which seems to be improving for IHVs I might add) as the expectation was that the second-hand supply of GPUs is going to kill the market for first-hand SKUs for at least a year. Depending on that decision we might see Battlemage in late 2023 or delayed to next year - but it is certainly coming.

While the hardware side of things of Intel Arc Alchemist GPUs is already quite decent, the software was not able to keep pace with the scale up from integrated graphics and is something the company has been improving upon significantly. Just recently a driver patch massively improved gaming performance in older titles and this iterative improvement process should continue into late 2023 by the time we will see an Alchemist refresh or Battlemage. The Battlemage die is a full fate desktop die and is going to be much more powerful than Alchemist according to Intel's own admission so it might be a year or two before we see at truly powerful Intel card.

Once Intel's driver issues are completely resolved, what would you consider buying?
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