Thursday September 29, 2022

Intel announces a staggered release plan for the long-anticipated Arc GPUs

In a blog post, Intel provides more information on the release schedule for its long-awaited discrete Arc GPUs. The company will use a staggered approach to release its desktop graphics cards. This will give priority to system builders and OEMs from China. While its laptop chips are currently only available for Samsung laptops in South Korea at the moment, the company hopes to expand to other markets and manufacturers soon. Intel claims it is working with other laptop manufacturers such as Acer, HP and Lenovo to release its laptops with the entry-level Arc 3 GPUs as soon as possible. The release of laptops with the more powerful Arc 5 or Arc 7 GPUs is planned for “early Summer.” The company stated that it had hoped for availability to be “broader” at this stage, but blamed software development issues and supply chain problems for the delay.
Intel will continue to release its desktop GPUs in Q2 as the rough release window. It claims its first desktop GPUs will come in the form of its entry-level A3, which will be made available to Chinese OEMs and system builders (so it won’t be available as an offthe-shelf component that can be inserted into a machine). Then, it will expand worldwide and be available to self-builders. Intel will release its more powerful Arc A5- and A7 desktop cards later this summer. This will be done in partnership with professional system builders, before expanding worldwide.
This roadmap is more complex than the February announcement by Intel, which stated that the GPUs would be available in notebooks in Q1, desktops and workstations in Q2. Intel explains why this is a staggered approach. First, Intel can start with system builders to focus on making its GPUs compatible with a limited number of components, rather that relying on whatever a home builder might throw at them. Second, the Chinese market seems to have a “strong demand” of these types of entry-level GPUs. It’s also closer to the factories that make the boards, at a time where transportation costs have skyrocketed.
Leaving aside all of this, it is likely that home PC builders in the US or EU won’t be able to get their hands on Intel’s new desktop graphic cards until the end of the summer. Nvidia is expected to launch a new 4000 series graphics cards later in the year. This could mean that Intel’s fledgling GPUs may face stiff competition from an established player at launch.

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