A few weeks back we got the news that Intel is coming back into the Graphics market. Intel confirmed it afterward on Twitter. The news was based on the fact that Intel had recently hired Dr. Raja Koduri the Graphics veteran of Radeon technology group. Intel confirmed that they are looking forward to releasing their arctic hardware (the name of the project presumably) in 2020 and then the news got overshadowed by other bigger news such as rumors of Nvidia’s next-gen products and AMD’s workstation Radeon pro Graphics.
In order to start their new venture in the graphics department (when a company has failed to deliver working piece of hardware in its first two attempts) Intel required help from a person who specializes in the area discrete as well as integrated graphics and Raja happens to be one of the few personnel with specializations in both fields. It has been only a year since Raja integrated with Intel and we have the first teaser of arctic sound Graphics card from team blue. Here is the teaser for your eyes to feast.
— Intel Graphics (@IntelGraphics) August 15, 2018
It can be seen that the teaser is from Raja rather than Intel mainly because of the talk of pixels that have a similar taste to some earlier videos describing the Radeon graphics and VEGA Graphics. Raja is known for his ambitions for the Graphics, and since Intel has given him a free road, it can be safely said that through Intel he will continue his original aims which will benefit both Intel and his persona. We know that Intel is looking forward to making at least two discrete Graphics cards for the first release window that is 2020. At first, the teaser feels like a presentation that starts from the past, highlights the present and goes on to hint at the company’s plans for the future. But if you try to see the background of the huge flashy letters, it seems like Intel has given hints on the design aspects of one of the alleged Graphics card.
Stills of the teaser reveals the metallic fin blower fan design that will be used to cool the Graphics card. From the snippets, it looks like one of these Graphics cards will have one slot design which is very good for the mini ITX builds. All Graphics cards use the PCI express slots since they require the transfer of data in gigabytes every second, many current gen Graphics cards use the PCIe 3.0 slot, the PCIe 4.0 is coming very soon, and with the initial view at the image, it looks like these Graphics will have PCIe 4.0 compatibility.
Lastly, the unique aspect of Intel’s devices is their integrated Graphics which will be the focus alongside the discrete Graphics solution. Since Intel’s integrated Graphics are already in the industry and we will be able to see how the Gen architecture is improving with the simultaneous work on discrete Graphics. Other than these nitty grittiest there is not much to get from the teaser as it is the very first visual representation of what Intel is planning to do ahead.
Intel is now working on the Arctic sound architecture which will be the basis of the production of the new Graphics cards, Intel usually codenames every product and since the Graphics cards are to be released in 2020, the Arctic sound architecture will be the codename of the 12th generation “Gen” (the name of Intel’s Graphics architecture) architecture, and Jupiter sound will be the codename of 13th gen architecture. Intel’s current gen Kaby lake and Coffee lake processors have a 9th and 9.5th generation of Gen architecture respectively in their integrated Graphics solutions. The Graphics chip they use is called Intel HD Graphics 620 for the 9th gen and Intel HD graphics 630 for the 9.5th gen. These integrated graphics are not bad, if we look them in the sense of what they were made for, gaming is not their strong suit, but Intel has done hard to at the very least make them able to play the current esports titles.
Manufacturing process of Intel graphics is usually the same as their processors, but discrete Graphics require rigorous manufacturing process that is why we have processors built on 12nm process but most of the Graphics card we see are built on 14nm processes, the newer ones such as the recently revealed Quadro RTX series although are built on 12nm process.
As far as Intel processors are concerned the rumored the ice lake architecture to be revealed in 2020 will have 10nm manufacturing process, so traditionally for Intel new Graphics processors will also be fabbed using the 10nm process. However, since the Graphics cards will be for the mid-range market, the 14nm fabrication process window also seems likely. Most of our gaming market is based on the mid-range Graphics hardware, and we think they would do well but what matters most to our gamers is the efficiency, performance, and pricing of these Graphics cards. Stay tuned for more updates on the topic.