Linux Mesa Drivers Tip Intel's Arc Battlemage GPU Draws Near

hero intel arc graphics cards
Work continues apace on Intel's Arc graphics drivers, but things have gotten to a pretty good state already. The heavily AMD-optimized Starfield notwithstanding, recent games like Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon and Baldur's Gate 3 both worked just fine on launch day, and most other applications we have tested on an Arc Alchemist GPU have been both fully functional and pretty performant, too.

It would seem work is also progressing on Intel's next-generation GPUs, as well. We haven't heard an official peep from Intel about its "Battlemage" GPU yet, but we know the "Xe2" architecture upon which it will be based is also slated to show up in the company's Lunar Lake processors that are expected to come after Arrow Lake, likely in 2025.

intel xe2 commit

Likely in preparation for those CPUs' integrated graphics, Intel has started working on Xe2 support in its open-source Linux Mesa drivers. We know that because the developers have said so. Buried in the commits for a merge to Mesa titled "intel/genxml: Support importing, which cuts the overall xml file size almost in half" is a single commit named "Start Xe2 support."

redgamingtech intel arc roadmap
Alleged Intel GPU roadmap leaked by RedGamingTech

There's nothing to talk about with the actual commit, but it shows that Intel's already preparing for its next-generation graphics architecture. Going by earlier leaks, Battlemage is expected to be announced in the first half of next year, with availability in the second half. Rumors have indicated that it is going to be a significant performance bump over Alchemist, likely putting it in the RTX 4070 Ti range or possibly even higher.

This commit was spotted by Phoronix, who notes that there have been additional merge requests this week that add additional support for Xe2 in Linux. As that site comments, Intel has long been a staunch supporter of the open-source operating system with excellent driver support for its integrated graphics for over a decade now. We can only hope that support continues if it gains market share in the discrete graphics arena.