Intel hosted its virtual Architecture Day to the media across the world, with a gigantic debriefing on what Intel has been up to across virtually its entire company -- but the most exciting thing (at least to me) was the introduction of the new Xe-HPG gaming-optimized architecture.
Intel's new Xe-HPG is for enthusiast gamers packing hardware ray tracing support, packing GDDR6 memory. To compare against the datacenter-focused Xe, with the Xe-HP -- which is powered by HBM memory. Intel stepping into the ray tracing ring with NVIDIA, and soon AMD with its RDNA 2 architecture is a big move.
The new Intel Xe-HPG is expected to ship in 2021, where I'm sure we'll hear more details on it early in the New Year. Raja Koduri, the chief architect and senior vice president of Intel's discrete graphics division, explained: "our enthusiast and gamer friends, we heard your requests for Xe for enthusiast gaming. We added a fourth microarchitecture to the Xe family: Xe-HPG optimized for gaming, with many new graphics features including ray tracing support. We expect to ship this microarchitecture in 2021 and I can't wait to get my hands-on this GPU!"
Me too my friend, me too -- I can't wait for Xe-HPG.
Intel introduced a new Xe microarchitecture variant, Xe-HPG, a gaming-optimized microarchitecture, combining good performance-per-watt building blocks from Xe-LP, leveraging the scale from Xe-HP for a bigger configuration and compute frequency optimization from Xe-HPC. A new memory subsystem based on GDDR6 is added to improve performance per dollar and Xe-HPG will have accelerated ray tracing support. Xe-HPG is expected to start shipping in 2021.
Intel's first Xe-based discrete GPU, code-named DG1, is in production and on track to start shipping in 2020. DG1 is now available within the Intel DevCloud, accessible to early access users. Announced at CES, it is Intel's first discrete GPU for PCs based on Xe-LP microarchitecture.
Intel also gave us an update on the first Xe-HP chip, updating us by saying: "The first Xe-HP chip has been powered on and back from the labs. Xe-HP is the industry's first multi-tiled, highly scalable, high performance architecture, providing data center-class, rack-level media performance, GPU scalability and AI optimization. It covers a dynamic range of compute from one tile, to two and four tiles, functioning like a multicore GPU".
Intel continues: "At Architecture Day, Intel demonstrated Xe-HP transcoding 10 full streams of high-quality 4K video at 60 frames per second on a single tile. Another demo showed the compute scalability of Xe-HP across multiple tiles. Intel is now sampling Xe-HP with key customers and plans to enable it in Intel® DevCloud for developers. Xe-HP will be available next year".