In 2020, Intel marked the return of the graphics card market. Step one was to integrate the fundamentally new architecture Xe into the Tiger Lake processors. This was later followed by Intel’s first dedicated graphics card in over 22 years – DG1, but here games were not in focus. This will change in 2021 when Intel takes the fight against AMD and Nvidia seriously.
It has long been clear that Intel is outsourcing the production of its first graphics game to an external player, but who has been shrouded in obscurity. Now the news agency reports Reuters with reference to two well-informed sources that Intel has turned to TSMC, which will manufacture the graphics circuit DG2, which will take place in Intel’s first graphics card with a focus on the gaming market.
According to the report, DG2 will be manufactured on an improved variant of TSMC’s 7-nanometer technology, which will be slightly better than the technology AMD uses for its products. Previous reports have suggested that Intel will use TSMC’s 6-nanometer technology, which is an improved variant of 7 nanometers with higher transistor density, performance and energy efficiency.
Intel’s latest graphics architecture Xe is available in four different variants, where Tiger Lake and DG1 use Xe-LP (Low Power) with a focus on energy efficiency. The upcoming DG2 will instead be based on XE-HPG (High Performance Gaming) which in addition to more computing units will have more game-oriented features, including dedicated silicon for ray tracing in real time.
The only thing that has been confirmed in the specification path for DG2 is support for the GDDR6 graphics memory, but apart from that, Intel is keeping a close eye on the details. Recently, however, Intel added support for DG2 graphics cards in its drivers, where it was possible to discern two variants with 128 and 512 execution units. Since each unit houses eight FP32-ALUs (Arithmetic Logic Unit), this corresponds to 1,024 and 4,096 cores, respectively.
Intel DG1 and the graphics circuit integrated in Tiger Lake are equipped with 96 computing units or 768 cores. This suggests that a DG2 circuit with 4,096 cores does not have sufficient capacity to take up the fight in the top tier, but that Intel instead begins with an investment in the lucrative middle class where most of the sales take place.
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