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Raja Koduri teases Intel Xe-HPG (DG2) graphics engineering board with ray tracing capabilities

The Xe-HPG (DG2) GPUs will be Intel's first competitive discrete GPUs in decades. (Image Source: Intel)
The Xe-HPG (DG2) GPUs will be Intel's first competitive discrete GPUs in decades. (Image Source: Intel)
The engineering card appears to be equipped with CPU-grade heatsink + cooler and it is connected to an Alder Lake motherboard through a PCIe riser. Koduri does not really mention that this is the DG2 card, but the test system is running 3DMark with the Port Royal ray tracing test in the test suite, and we know only DG2 GPUs among Intel's upcoming discrete models support ray tracing.
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Intel might still find itself in a rough spot with the launch of the Rocket Lake processors, but the company can turn things around quickly if the Alder Lake CPUs and the DG2 (Xe-HPG) gaming GPUs perform as planned. CPUs should be Intel’s strong suit, so we are actually more interested to see what the company can bring to the GPU table, since it has not really come up with competitive discrete GPUs in almost two decades. Raja Koduri, Intel’s Senior VP and Chief Architect for the architecture, software and graphics divisions recently teased the upcoming gaming GPUs in one of his tweets, and it looks like the GPU team is hard at work optimizing things for a smooth launch. Koduri does not actually mention the GPU name in his post. However, based on a few clues pointed out by the guys over at VideoCardz, it is highly likely that we are indeed looking at the DG2 GPU.

First of all, Koduri recalls he was working for Apple on a Crystal Well eDRAm module for the Iris Pro Haswell iGPUs back in 2012. Nine years later, his team from Apple is still mostly the same and the GPU they are working on now is more than 20 times faster than the 2012 model. In the 2021 pic, we can spot the actual graphics card that is connected to a motherboard (Alder Lake model perhaps?) via a PCIe riser. The graphics card appears to be equipped with a large heatsink plus a CPU cooler. There also are two PSUs, one for the GPU and one for the motherboard.

Probably the most important clue here is the information we see on the monitor in front of Koduri. Seems like the GPU is tested with the 3DMark suite, and all feature tests are there, including the DirectX DXR for ray tracing. We know there is no ray tracing support on the current DG1 (Xe-LP) models, so this has to be the DG2, which is confirmed to include hardware level ray tracing support. As a bonus, we can also spot a white board with some graphs on the left side, but the writings are hard to discern.

No launch date has been provided for the DG2 cards as of yet. These might release in desktop and laptop form towards the end of 2021 with all the chip shortages delaying things right now. The top-tier DG2 cards with 512 execution units and up to 16 GB of GDDR6 RAM on 256-bit buses are expected to match the RTX 3070 GPUs from Nvidia. Intel needs to price these models quite aggressively if it wants to have a chance against Nvidia and AMD.

 

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(Image Source: Raja Koduri)
(Image Source: Raja Koduri)
GPU engineering sample plus motherboard (Image Source: Raja Koduri)
GPU engineering sample plus motherboard (Image Source: Raja Koduri)
3DMark suite with ray tracing test (Image Source: Raja Koduri)
3DMark suite with ray tracing test (Image Source: Raja Koduri)
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Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - Senior Tech Writer - 1535 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I first stepped into the wondrous IT&C world when I was around seven years old. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, whether they were from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I'm also an avid reader of science fiction, an astrophysics aficionado, and a crypto geek. I started writing PC-related articles for Softpedia and a few blogs back in 2006. I joined the Notebookcheck team in the summer of 2017 and am currently a senior tech writer mostly covering processor, GPU, and laptop news.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 03 > Raja Koduri teases Intel Xe-HPG (DG2) graphics engineering board with ray tracing capabilities
Bogdan Solca, 2021-03-13 (Update: 2021-03-13)