Intel has announced plans to launch a discrete GPU in 2020. The company tweeted the news along with a link to a press release on its site dating back to November 2017 when AMD’s Raja Koduri joined the company. While the tweet labels it as Intel’s “first” discrete GPU, it conveniently forgets Intel’s i740 AGP solution back from 1998. That said, it will be interesting to see what the company’s ambitions are in the space considering that AMD has structured its road map and timelines around Apple and Sony’s requirements. Throw in the fact that Nvidia has said that we won’t be seeing new GPUs anytime soon and Intel’s announcement may simply be the shot in the arm the industry needs.
What shape and form Intel’s GPU efforts take will be of interest considering it stated in the past that it would focus on “a broad range of computing segments” which should include gaming.
Before joining Intel, Koduri was the head of the Radeon Technologies Group at AMD and was responsible for the launch of its Vega GPUs. Intel has also brought in AMD marketing boss Chris Hook to be in charge of discrete graphics and visual technologies marketing.
Intel pioneered the integration of graphics capabilities first into motherboard chipsets and then into CPUs themselves, but it hasn’t been able to develop a GPU powerful enough to compete with Nvidia or AMD’s top-end offerings in the discrete space. The highly anticipated Larrabee graphics product wound up being cancelled in 2010 and turned into an accelerator for parallel processing workloads. This would now seem like a target that is within reach for the world’s largest CPU maker. Aside from AMD, Intel will also be competing with Nvidia, which has had considerable success over the past few years both on the PC graphics side and in the fields of AI, autonomous driving, and visual computing.
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