Saturday, September 25, 2021

Intel’s announces ‘Alchemist’ consumer graphics

Intel today announced Intel Arc, its first consumer-focused high-performance graphics solutions.

In the press release, Intel described Arc graphics as “a convergence of Intel’s Xe LP, HP and HPC microarchitectures that will deliver scalability and compute efficiency with advanced graphics features” and that the brand encompasses hardware, software and services.

The first generation of Intel consumer GPUs will be based on the Xe microarchitecture code-named Alchemist, formerly known as DG2. Intel also announced three future generations of its products: Battlemage, Celestial and Druid.

In a video, Intel demonstrated Alchemist running modern games at seemingly smooth frame rates, although it did not show any stats for these demos. Intel also showcased some of Alchemist’s advanced features including ray tracing and variable-rate shading, the former being important for realistic lighting and the latter to improve performance by shading different parts of the frame at varying detail levels.

Moreover, the press release noted an AI-driven image upscaling feature that sounds similar to Nvidia’s DLSS or AMD’s Fidelity FX Super Resolution.


A demonstration of Intel Alchemist upscaling a 4K image from a 480p sample.
Intel demonstrated Alchemist performing a 4K upscale from a 480p image. Source: Intel

Even before its elusive DG1 graphics card and the subsequent Ponte Vecchio HPC GPU, Intel had been developing integrated graphics for its CPUs for years. Its latest graphics microarchitecture, Intel Xe, is currently featured in its Tiger Lake and Rocket Lake series of processors.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger showcasing Ponte Vecchio
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger showcasing Ponte Vecchio. Source: Intel

Not much else is known about Arc graphics besides what was showcased in the brief demo this morning. Intel says consumers can expect to see Alchemist-based products in Q1 2022.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
As an avid technology enthusiast, Tom loves to fix, break, and talk about electronics. Now he gets to writes about them. Talk about a dream career.

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