Intel Exec Discloses Discrete GPU Details And Strategy

Intel Answers GPU Questions - Hardware And Software Disclosures

intel arctic sound gpu
An Image From Intel's Discrete GPU Teaser Video

Will Intel’s new GPU architecture eventually migrate down onto the CPU or will the discrete and integrated solutions remain separate architectures?

Leveraging Intel’s broad portfolio of products is critical to building winning platforms: lots of performance, in compelling form factors, in compelling power envelopes. We’re excited by the opportunity to build technologies that will allow us to take experiences, features, and innovation to new and unique form factors, and to an install base of a billion screens around the world.

What is the target TDP for the initial launch products?

Another one that we would like to keep a surprise for now.

geforce rtx sli
A Pair Of GeForce GPUs Running In SLI

Will Intel have a multi-GPU option, similar to NVIDIA’s SLI or AMD’s CrossFire?

Our desire is to participate a broad range of market segments and support the features and capabilities that consumers care about most. Scalability will be incredibly important and we’re looking at a variety of different strategies to achieve that.

Will a single discrete GPU be able to drive multiple monitors?

Our integrated offerings drive up to three monitors today. Multi-monitor support is something that we know is critical for consumers’ usage.

Will Intel’s initial discrete GPU offering be VR-Ready?

More on this in the future, but it’s worth pointing out that the majority of VR content produced to date is 360 degree video, and you can experience that today on our Gen 9 graphics.

Will Intel employ blower style or axial fan coolers on its GPU cards?

Great question! This is a good example of an area that we would like to get feedback from the community, and learn more about what’s important to them. 

Intel Raja Koduri
Raja Koduri, Chief Architect, SVP And GM Of Cores And Visual Computing
And Edge Computing Solutions - Intel

How will your discrete GPU plans affect developer engagement? Will your dev-rel team be expanding to engage directly with more game developers and ensure day-0 compatibility and performance optimizations?

We currently support a community of millions of developers with tools and resources from our Intel Developer Zone programs. Even today, gamers on one billion screens are being supported through our ISV collaborations to ensure Day 0 compatibility and game playability. This is something we’ll continue to invest in, to bring accessible gaming to multitudes of users across the planet.

Obviously DirectX, OpenGL, and Vulcan support will be a must, but does Intel have any plans to introduce any proprietary APIs?

We will definitely be committed to industry standards. We worked with MSFT with DirectX to deliver the world’s first fully compliant DirectX 12 GPU. We also see new opportunities on the software side and you’re going to hear a lot from us on our software strategy in the coming year.

Does Intel have plans to introduce any new graphics rendering features or capabilities not yet exploited in current generation GPU architectures and APIs?

Absolutely! Watch this space.

So, what do we know today about Intel’s upcoming discrete GPU plans that we didn’t know yesterday? First and foremost things are obviously still in a state of flux and Intel wants input from the community. If there are specific asks that you feel Intel must deliver on to gain your interest, be sure to comment here; Intel is listening and has plans to further engage with the community moving forward. We also know that Intel’s upcoming GPU is not simply a scaled-up version of its existing graphics IP and that the design approach is essentially the opposite of Larrabee’s. Intel didn’t specifically state it has multi-GPU support planned, but it seems like that is at least a possibility at this point, based on the Visual Technologies team's comments. Intel’s focus will be on industry standard APIs, but differentiating features are in the works as well that will likely require some proprietary framework. What those features are, we are not sure yet. Based on the teaser video and Intel’s interest in the community’s take on axial vs. blower-style fans, for example, it’s also safe to assume that desktop add-in cards are planned. The talk of enabling new, and interesting form factors, however, also hints toward hybrid solutions similar to Kaby Lake G. Eventually, both solutions are most likely to appear.

Although we were optimistic that Intel would disclose some juicy details regarding its upcoming discrete GPU, it’s still too early to expect any product-specific scoops just yet. We hope to stay engaged with Intel throughout the coming year though, and will bring you any and all news, as soon as we get details that we can pass on.

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