Intel Intel Xe Rumors: Progress Not Going Well

When Intel first announced that they would be making a discrete GPU for both gaming and enterprise applications it drew a lot of attention, especially after several staff from AMD moved over to Intel to join their GPU team. Well it seems like something is going on now. Last week several key staff member that joined the GPU team left Intel and now we are hearing various different rumors about what is going on. Keep in mind these are just rumors…

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First off we initially thought that we would see a release of Intel’s first dedicated graphics card in June 2020, but that has already been pushed back till “late 2020”. It seems development of Xe GPUs has stalled if you want to believe the rumors being put out by user wjm47196 on Chiphell. We do not know where he obtained this information, but here are some of the main things he’s mentioned about Xe GPU development.

– Work on the Xe GPUs does not seem to be going well
– Ponte Vecchio is unlikely to arrive within the next two years
– Currently, the efficiency of the Xe architecture is relatively low compared to the competition
– For the time being, there are no plans for custom models of Xe graphics cards
– Drivers would need a lot of time to improve

While we don’t know if Xe GPUs will be based on a 14nm or 10nm process the efficiency of Intel’s GPU architecture is relatively low and isn’t looking really good compared to NVIDIA or even AMD’s current GPUs which are based on 12nm & 7nm nodes, respectively.

At Supercomputing 2019 (SC19) Intel did announce a new category of GPUs based on the Xe architecture which are made specifically for data center artificial intelligence and high performance computing (HPC) workloads instead of gaming. Intel has codenamed this graphics processing unit after a bridge in Florence, the Ponte Vecchio.

Intel could be selling their discrete gaming GPUs themselves in a reference design at launch. Add-in-board (AIB) partners might want to wait a generation or two to see the performance and demand for Intel’s Xe GPUs.

Drivers are a big thing here too, we all know too well having bad drivers impacts performance and user experience (wink wink AMD). There are likely many driver optimizations that need to take place and that is going to take a large chunk of time.

Again these are just rumors….

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