Look out AMD and Nvidia, Intel could get into the graphics card game by 2020
Intel’s made its own onboard graphics solutions for years, and it’s even dabbled in discrete graphics cards before, but it could be gearing up to take on gaming GPU manufacturers Nvidia and AMD with its own gaming-centric graphics card slated for 2020.
The news comes as Intel’s upcoming enterprise and data center-facing discrete GPU solutions are on the horizon. Its “Arctic Sound” and “Jupiter Sound” discrete GPUs were originally intended to spend their lives toiling away in data centers, crunching numbers in quiet obscurity. But according to Ashraf Eassa of The Motley Fool, Intel’s graphics chief Raja Koduri has other plans.
Bonus: Apparently @Rajaontheedge is redefining Arctic Sound (first Intel dGPU), was originally targeted for video streaming apps in data center, but now being split into two: the video streaming stuff and gaming. Apparently wants to “enter the market with a bang.”
— Ashraf Eassa (@TMFChipFool) April 6, 2018
It’s fascinating news given that Koduri is a relatively recent hire, but his tenure at AMD and before that at Apple, suggests this could have been the plan all along. Koduri’s departure from AMD for Intel signaled the company’s increased interest in improving the graphical functionality of its products, and these most recent leaks suggest that he is the man behind the changes to the upcoming Arctic Sound GPU solutions.
Remember, Intel has recently cozied up with AMD for a series of processors which feature onboard Radeon Vega graphics in lieu of Intel’s integrated HD graphics hardware.This shift toward gaming hardware is likely part of a larger long-term strategy to diversify Intel’s offerings. It’s unclear what would happen to the AMD partnership if Intel is indeed getting ready to become a direct competitor to AMD in the GPU arena.
According to Wccftech, not only is Koduri a crucial component of the project, but there are some serious manufacturing hurdles standing in the way of Intel’s GPU ambitions. Its current fabrication facilities aren’t exactly geared toward mass-producing gaming GPUs, so it’s likely an uptick in research spending could signal that the GPU project is kicking into high gear.
It’s clear Intel has a strong interest in pushing into the GPU market, and now would be the time to do it. With shortages and cryptocurrency mining pushing prices higher and nudging more and more PC gaming enthusiasts toward integrated graphics solutions, maybe it’s time to have a third option for discrete GPUs. Having more options than just AMD or Nvidia could be refreshing for PC builders.
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