Raja Koduri hints at mid-2020 debut for Intel's discrete Xe GPUs
Raja Koduri, senior vice president of Architecture, Graphics and Software at Intel has set tongues wagging with a cryptic tweet posted over the weekend. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Koduri is strongly hinting at a June 2020 release for the first of Intel’s Xe discrete GPUs based on it the custom number plate depicted in the photograph. We already knew that Xe was coming next year, but this is the first time that we have had an indication of when exactly that might be.
Not a lot is known about the underlying architecture or fabrication process that Intel is planning to adopt for its first desktop GPUs since although real-time ray tracing is a possibility, if not for mainstream models, but at least in the enterprise line. With Intel hitting something of a wall with its CPU architecture, it makes sense for the company to boost its computation processing capabilities of its servers with discrete graphics. However, we can get something of a sense of what the Xe GPUs might offer based on Intel’s current integrated GPU microarchitecture.
Intel’s 10 nm Ice Lake-based CPUs use the Team Blue’s new Gen 11 graphics. Of these, the most powerful integrated option incorporates 64 Gen 11 execution units (EUs). When you look at Nvidia’s integrated mobile GPUs, they tend to top out around 256 CUDA cores. Its RTX 2080 offers slightly over 3,000 CUDA cores suggesting that Intel could probably scale a discrete GPU up similarly by at least a factor of 10 to 12. With Gen 11 integrated GPUs delivering just over 1 teraflops of floating point performance, we can expect a mid-range Xe to be competitive with at least a RTX 2060 or even an RTX 2070. Xe could also launch with Gen 12 graphics, which would naturally deliver an uplift on this too.
Time will, of course, reveal all!