“Intel’s first graphics card for consumers ends up in the middle class”

Intel recently released eleven new processors for laptops in the “Ice Lake” family, which will be the first to be based on the company’s new architecture Sunny Cove manufactured at 10 nanometers. One of the biggest news is the integrated graphics circuits according to the architecture Gen11, which will mean a real boost over previous generations.

However, the company also invests heavily in dedicated graphics cards with the name Xe. Relatively little is known about the products, but the idea is that Xe will range from integrated circuits to graphics cards for games and data centers and that the architecture “Arctic Sound”. At the head of the graphics division is the former AMD Radeon employee Raja Koduri, who has now been interviewed by the Russian Youtube channel Pro Hi-Tech (video in Russian).

Our strategy revolves around price, not performance. First are GPUs for everyone at 200$ price, then the same architecture but with the higher amount of HBM memory for data centers. <...> Our strategy in 2-3 years is to release whole family of GPUs from integrated graphics and popular discrete graphics to data centers GPUs.

The interview concerns Koduri’s career in general, but also Intel’s ongoing work with graphics cards. On the forum Reddit, the member “taryakun” has highlighted and translated a quote from the video, where Raja Koduri explains that the graphics division will initially focus on price instead of top performance. This is reminiscent of AMD’s approach to mid-range cards in the Radeon RX 400 and RX 500 series, based on Polaris.

The target price for the Radeon RX 480 was $ 199 and this is a price point that should also be relevant for Intel’s first consumer-oriented graphics card. Then the same architecture should be paired with more HBM memory and take up space in the data center. A statement indicates that Xe will use an architecture and memory type HBM across the board, but whether this is true remains to be seen.

In conclusion, the chief architect says that Xe for all areas of use must be in place within two to three years. This thus includes integrated graphics circuits, high-performance cards for games and data centers, as well as dedicated graphics cards with performance levels in between. Intel Xe will be launched in 2020 and the first round will be manufactured at 10 nanometers.

Source: Pro Hi-Tech via Reddit and PCGameshardware

Updated 2019-08-03: The video in question is based on an interview conducted in English, but which Pro Hi-Tech then translated into Russian, without the opportunity to hear the English language version. Tom’s Hardware now announces that some information has disappeared through the translations and via Intel, the site has put its hands on an audio file of the interview.

Not everybody will buy a $500-$600 card, but there are enough people buying those too – so that’s a great market.

So the strategy we’re taking is we’re not really worried about the performance range, the cost range and all because eventually our architecture as I’ve publicly said, has to hit from mainstream, which starts even around $100, all the way to Data Center-class graphics with HBM memories and all, which will be expensive.

We have to hit everything; it’s just a matter of where do you start? The First one? The Second one? The Third one? And the strategy that we have within a period of roughly – let’s call it 2-3 years – to have the full stack.

Raja Koduri thus says that graphics cards in the upper price and performance segment definitely have a market, but that Intel will initially not invest in this with the Xe series. The entry and middle class should instead be the starting point, but exactly which price level will apply to the very first cards is unclear.

In addition, it is mentioned that HBM memory will be used for graphics cards for data centers, which is why other types of memory may therefore be relevant for different applications. However, Koduri’s statement remains that the Xe series will be launched for all planned uses within two to three years.

Read more about Intel Xe:

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