Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Intel releases Arc discrete mobile graphics

Intel’s first dedicated mobile GPU is finally here. On March 30, the company released its first dedicated mobile graphics solution based on its Xe HPG architecture.

This launch represents the first of the three product segments in Intel’s Arc graphics family. The Arc 3 will be followed by Arc 5 and Arc 7, which will arrive this summer.

Intel Arc graphics roadmap.
Intel Arc graphics roadmap. Source: Intel

The Arc 3 series consists of the A370M and A350M. The A370M comes with eight Xe graphics cores, eight ray tracing units, and 4GB of GDDR6. The A350M comes with six Xe graphics cores, six ray tracing units and 4GB of GDDR6.

Intel Arc series lineup
Name Arc 3 A350M Arc 3 A370M Arc 5 A550M Arc 7 A730M Arc 7 A770M
Xe Cores 6 8 16 24 32
Ray tracing units 6 8 16 24 32
Memory (GDDR6) 4GB 4Gb 8Gb 12GB 16GB
Power 25W to 35W 35W to 50W 60W to 80W 80W to 120W 120W to 150W
Feature set

Arc series GPUs come with features for both creators and gamers.

For content creators, the Arc GPUs offer a dedicated media engine that supports AV1 encoding and decoding, an open high-efficiency video codec. Although its adoption has been relatively low compared to H.264, AV1 has been gaining popularity in recent years. Arc GPUs also support an Intel Xe Matrix Extensions (XMX) AI engine for AI-powered video denoising and upscaling in applications that support it.

A slide showcasing the features of Intel's Xe HPG architecture
Arc 3 is Intel’s first consumer graphics processor to launch with the Xe HPG architecture.

Besides support for ray tracing, gamers are also treated to Intel’s new Xe Super Sampling (XeSS) upscaling tech. This feature uses artificial intelligence to enhance details in games that run at lower resolutions, similar to Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling. This method of increasing visual fidelity for lower resolutions means that gamers can see more details without incurring a heavy performance penalty.

Intel says that XeSS is coming this summer in more than 20 games. The company is also planning to open up the XeSS SDK and tools to everyone.

During its launch event, Intel threw up a demonstration using Dolmen, an upcoming survival game, to highlight the detail enhancements XeSS can deliver.

The company says that the Arc GPUs work best with Intel CPUs that support Intel Deep Link, which enables Hyper Encode, Hyper Compute, and Dynamic Power Share.

By combining the integrated graphics on a compatible Intel processor with the Arc graphics, Intel claims that the system can squeeze out 30 per cent more performance thanks to Dynamic Power Share, and 24 per cent higher compute performance with XMX. Encoding in media applications like Cyberlink Power Director, Davinci Resolve and Handbrake were also shown to improve by 60 per cent.

Arc control has a suite of tools for streamers, gamers and creators.
Arc control has a suite of tools for streamers, gamers and creators. Source: Intel

With Arc Control, Intel promises a seamless software experience as well. The software, which is the counterpart of Nvidia’s GeForce Experience and AMD’s Radeon Software, will feature built-in streaming functions, virtual cameras, and driver updates. Intel has dedicated a driver support team to develop day zero drivers for new game titles.

Designs with Intel’s Arc 3 graphics are available now starting at US$899. The Arc 5 and 7 series, along with desktop add-in cards, will be released starting next quarter.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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