Although we've been able to get limited insight into Intel's plans through our conversations with key executives, the company is revealing more about the project in a rather unconventional way. Intel Graphics posted a video to Twitter which in effect serves as a recruitment tool for its budding graphics division.
The video starts off with commentary from Raja Koduri, the former Radeon Technologies Group guru, who now serves as the head of Intel’s Core and Visual Computing Group. He says that Intel is starting off from ground zero with the project, which means that the team isn't bringing any excess baggage from past graphics architectures to the table.
In other words, this won't be a turbocharged version of Intel's existing integrated graphics solutions; this will be a completely new beast. Having the ability to start from a clean slate has given Intel the ability to take some design risks and leverage its bountiful patent portfolio to develop a truly groundbreaking design.
"It's kind of like putting a very complex Lego structure this is what the best engineers want to do," said Koduri. "And we have access to all the right Lego blocks in this company.
"I want a future where we can have those photorealistic immersive worlds. I want to have games with virtual worlds that are as large as this entire universe."
Newly crowned CEO Bob Swan also chimed in, adding that Intel has spent the last 50 years "building leading compute architecture for the future" and that it wants to apply that same focus to building class-leading discrete graphics.
Intel is looking at its entry into discrete graphics as a long-term play, and as such it will be targeting a number of different markets over time. We're mainly speculating here at the moment, but we may see Intel initially "drop in" with GPUs targeting the mainstream gaming market and perhaps build upwards from there. Eventually, Intel is looking to expand to professional graphics and even the datacenter market.
At every step of the way, it will be encountering pressure from both AMD and NVIDIA who are well-entrenched in all of these markets. With that being said, we've gone way too long with just two primary players in the discrete graphics market and it's time for some fresh blood to liven things up. Intel has a lot of resources behind it and a lot of talented engineers, so we'll definitely be waiting to see just how much the company will shakeup the graphics market.