Skip to main content

Look out AMD and Nvidia, Intel will make graphics cards in 2020

Intel confirmed on Tuesday, June 12, that it’s officially re-entering the discrete graphics market in 2020. Without providing any additional information, Intel simply linked back to a previous announcement revealing that former AMD Radeon graphics chip designer Raja Koduri is now Intel’s chief architect and senior vice president of the new Core and Visual Computing Group.

Intel’s entry would make the company the third-largest player in the GPU market following AMD and Nvidia. For years Intel stuffed its own onboard graphics into its processors, and at one time even attempted to enter the discrete GPU market. But right now, Nvidia dominates the market, residing at the top of the totem pole followed by AMD’s Radeon division. Intel apparently wants a slice of the GPU pie too.

Outside its gaming ambitions, Intel’s upcoming enterprise and datacenter-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 Intel’s graphics chief obviously has other plans outside the datacenter.

Get your weekly teardown of the tech behind PC gaming
Check your inbox!

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

Intel’s 2020 re-entry is 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. Recent leaks suggest that Koduri is the man behind the changes to the upcoming Arctic Sound GPU solutions.

Remember, Intel recently cozied up with AMD for a series of processors that feature onboard Radeon Vega graphics along with 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 when Intel becomes a direct competitor to AMD in the GPU arena in 2020.

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.

Intel clearly has a strong interest in pushing into the GPU market — the company has a number of graphics-oriented job openings currently listed on its jobs board — 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.

Updated on June 12: Intel confirmed 2020 launch window.

Editors' Recommendations

Jayce Wagner
Former Digital Trends Contributor
A staff writer for the Computing section, Jayce covers a little bit of everything -- hardware, gaming, and occasionally VR.
The Nvidia RTX 4080 Super just trounced AMD
The Nvidia RTX 4080 Super on a pink background.

Whether you pick the RTX 4080 Super or the RX 7900 XTX, you're getting a powerful GPU that's capable of seamless gaming at 4K. But which one is better for the money? There used to be a clear answer to that question when we were only dealing with the RTX 4080, but the release of its Super successor made it a lot less straightforward.

Both the RTX 4080 Super and the RX 7900 XTX are among the best graphics cards that money can buy. While they're close in performance, they're not exactly the same, and the scales might now be tipping in an unexpected direction.
Pricing and availability

Read more
Intel may be throwing away an important opportunity
The backs of the Arc A770 and Arc A750 graphics cards.

However small Intel's presence might be when it comes to discrete graphics cards, it's still chipping away at Arc Battlemage -- but every time we hear of it, the news is strictly bad. This time, a new leak tells us that Intel may not even attempt to release Arc Battlemage for laptops, and even if it does, its partners may still not want to produce the acrds.

The grim update comes from Moore's Law Is Dead, who talked about Arc Battlemage in his latest video. According to the YouTuber's anonymous sources, Intel's next-gen discrete GPUs aren't coming to laptops. References to any mobile GPUs have reportedly been erased from an internal Intel document, indicating that the cards may have been scrapped, as opposed to never having been planned.

Read more
AMD’s RX 7600 XT might be dead on arrival — but there’s a catch
rx 7600 xt sales report review 4

AMD's new RX 7600 XT graphics card isn't off to a great start, at least according to sales data shared by 3DCenter. The new video card launched on Wednesday alongside Nvidia's RTX 4070 Ti Super, and even with a relatively poor reception, Nvidia sold nearly 10 times as many graphics cards as AMD did in a sampling at a German retailer.

There are a few caveats to that, however. 3DCenter takes data for the number of sales from Mindfactory, a German hardware retailer, 12 to 14 hours after release. According to the data, weaker GPUs like the RTX 4060 and RX 7600 sell considerably less than more powerful GPUs like the RTX 4070 Super and RX 7800 XT. It indicates some bias in this data, perhaps showing that this retailer caters to a crowd willing to spend more money on a graphics card.

Read more