Intel Corporation held Architecture Day 2021 On August 19, it finally revealed some key details about the Xe HPG architecture for the first generation of graphics cards. Several key project leaders, including Raja Kodori, appeared during the segment to discuss revised implementation units (EUs) and overall design, process technology, efficiency gains, API support, and other features.
For context, Raja Koduri previously worked at AMD to design the RDNA architecture that is currently in its second iteration and found in Radeon RX 6000 Series GPUs. He then went from red to blue in a non-literal sense and joined Intel to lead Xe HPG engineering. That was years ago, so it’s exciting to finally see the project come to fruition after years of shadowy talk, leaks, and rumours.
We hope it will be the beginning of a great product arc
Xe HPG architecture designed for Intel DG2 graphics cards, now Officially known as the “Chemical” ARC. for the first generation. It will feature different specifications for each template, but the basic design is as follows. The Alchemist will have Xe scalable cores with 16 vector and 16 matrix engines. Each of those will make up what is called a Render Slice, not like a pie. Each render chip will contain four Xe-cores, a DirectX 12 Ultimate support firmware, and four new ray tracing accelerators. A group of eight render chips will share access to the L2 cache. Intel hasn’t provided any exact numbers for cache size, but it will likely vary based on a configuration similar to how AMD implements the Infinity Cache on its GPUs.
Vector engines will support the full DirectX 12 Ultimate feature set. This includes ray tracing, variable rate shading, network shading, and feedback sampling. Ray tracing modules will allow ray traversal, bounding box intersections, and triangle intersections. We don’t know how all this will stack up compared to the solutions offered by Nvidia and AMD, but the hardware is there to support solid performance.
We also learned that Intel will take advantage of a TSMC 6nm node to manufacture the Alchemist, using rumors suggest That Intel will use TSMC for its next generations of GPUs as well.
How good is Intel Xe HPG?
It remains to be seen how the first generation of Intel graphics cards will appear, but Rumors indicate It could be as good as an Nvidia RTX 3070 or 3070 Ti if the drivers perform well. Jared Walton from Tom’s Hardware too Do some basic math for theoretical performance based on today’s detection and came to a similar conclusion. It wouldn’t be a shocking thing, but it’s a great first attempt from Intel.
Add to this the potential performance gains from Intel XeSS AI-based upgrade technologyWe may have an interesting new player in the market if Intel offers its products at affordable enough prices and is able to put graphics cards on the shelves constantly.
Intel will release its own graphics cards based on the Xe HPG architecture in the first quarter of 2022. Before that, we’ll have an interesting new Intel product to check out. You can learn more new details about the next generation of Alder Lake hybrid CPUs from Team Blue, which I also discussed On Architecture Day 2021.