Intel has provided more details on the release roadmap for its long-awaited Arc discrete GPUs in a new blog post. The company is planning a tiered approach that will prioritize system builders and OEMs in China for its desktop graphics cards. Meanwhile, its laptop chips are currently exclusive to Samsung laptops in South Koreabut the hope is to expand to other manufacturers and markets soon.
Intel says it is working with other laptop makers like Lenovo, Acer, HP, and Asus to release their laptops with its entry-level Arc 3 GPUs “ASAP.” Laptops with the more powerful GPUs Arc 5 and Arc 7 are planned for “early summer”. The company says it was hoping availability would be “broader” at this point, but blamed software development and supply chain issues for the delay.
On the desktop side, Intel is sticking to Q2 as a rough release window. It says its first desktop GPUs will be its entry-level A3, which will initially be made available to Chinese system builders and OEMs (so it won’t be available as a standard component to be built into a homebuilt machine), before expanding worldwide and to homebuilders . “Later this summer” Intel plans to release its more powerful Arc A5 and A7 desktop cards, starting again with professional system builders before expanding.
It’s a much more nuanced roadmap than the company’s already announced in February when it was simply said that GPUs would be coming to notebooks in Q1, desktops in Q2, and workstation machines in Q3. But Intel gives a few reasons for this tiered approach. First, by starting with system builders, it can focus on making its GPUs work with a select number of other components, rather than whatever a home builder might throw at it. Second, the Chinese market appears to have “strong demand” for this type of entry-level GPU, and it’s physically closer to the factories that make the components for the boards at a time when shipping costs have skyrocketed .
Argument aside, the upshot is that home PC makers in the US and EU are unlikely to get their hands on Intel’s new desktop graphics cards until summer is over. With Nvidia expected to release a new 4000 series of graphics cards later this year, it could mean that Intel’s fledgling GPUs will face stiff competition from a very established vendor at launch.
https://www.theverge.com/2022/5/10/23064887/intel-arc-gpus-release-roadmap-china-system-builder-oem Intel announces a staggered release schedule for long-awaited Arc GPUs