Intel Is Developing A Discrete GPU Called Arctic Sound With A Dedicated Gaming Variant

Intel Gaming

When AMD's former graphics boss Raja Koduri landed at Intel after taking a much-earned hiatus from the company (he led AMD's Radeon Technologies Group and spearheaded the launch of Vega), it was seen as a major coup for the Santa Clara chip outfit, one that seemed to signal that Intel might be targeting to compete in the discrete graphics card market. While nothing has been announced in that regard, some analysts are claiming that there will indeed be a gaming variant of Intel's upcoming discrete 'Arctic Sound' GPU.

Motley Fool's Ashraf Eassa says Intel originally planned to build Arctic Sound graphics chips mainly for video streaming chores and data center activities. However, he claims the company has since decided to build out a gaming variant at the behest of Koduri, who wants to "enter the market with a bang." Certainly a gaming GPU that could compete with AMD and NVIDIA would accomplish that goal.
In another Twitter post, Eassa doubled down on his previous claim that Arctic Sound "could potentially be an MCP," or multi-chip module, like the one it developed in partnership with AMD featuring Intel's Core processors paired with Vega graphics. Previously he noted that Arctic Sound would connect to Intel's CPU by way of an embedded multi-chip die interconnect bridge (EMIB). If that is the case, Intel's partnership with AMD could be a short lived one, but we will have to wait and see how things shake out.

What we're essentially looking at here is two versions of Arctic Sound, according to Eassa. One would be an integrated chip package, like the Core i7-8809G (as found in the latest NUC) but with Intel's own discrete graphics, and a standalone chip that will end up in graphics cards. If Eassa's information is correct, then one or more likely both of those will have variants designed for gaming, just as AMD and NVIDIA build GPUs for professional use and gaming as well.

Obviously Intel has a lot of ground to make up, if it goes in that direction. Vega put AMD back on the map in terms of offering a high-end gaming option, and Pascal is still holding strong for NVIDIA as it gets ready to introduce a new architecture. That said, Intel has the R&D to pull it off, and with Koduri leading the charge, it would be foolish to count Intel out of the running.

Thumbnail and Top Image Source: Intel