Intel Introduces The Arc A-Series Mobile Graphics
Intel today is formally introducing their Arc 3 series mobile graphics that will begin appearing in laptops beginning in April while Arc 5 and Arc 7 graphics are coming out in the "early summer" for the much anticipated Intel discrete graphics offerings.
We were briefed on Intel A-Series Mobile Graphics earlier this week so in this article is a quick overview of the much anticipated DG2/Alchemist graphics hardware. We are certainly very eager to see how well Intel Arc Graphics perform under Linux and are supported. We don't yet have our hands on any Intel Arc Graphics hardware so stay tuned for that when we get our hands on actual hardware for verifying the current open-source/Linux support and the performance from oneAPI Level Zero through to OpenGL and Vulkan gaming. To no surprise, Intel's launch-day presentation for Arc Graphics was Windows focused.
Even the Arc 3 graphics should offer nice uplift over integrated graphics while the Arc 5 and Arc 7 graphics is what should begin showing off the competitive capabilities of Intel's multi-year effort to get into the discrete graphics market.
As has been covered through the many open-source/Linux driver patch series and other driver activity, there are big changes at hand with Xe HPG compared to even the Gen12 Tiger Lake graphics on the integrated side. Xe HPG supports up to eight render slides, adds dedicated ray-tracing units for use with Direct3D 12 and Vulkan, and the Xe Core sports 16 x 256-bit vector engines, 16 x 1024-bit matrix engines, and boasts 192kb L1 cache.
It will be fun to see how well Intel Arc Graphics stand up for GPU compute compared to NVIDIA and AMD. Besides working on significant hardware improvements, they have also been investing heavily in their open-source Compute-Runtime for OpenCL and Level Zero support and seeing that their software stack is up to par -- something AMD has in the past struggled with for aiming to compete with NVIDIA's excellent but closed-source software stack.
Intel's Xe Media Engine supports AV1 encode along with VP9, AVC, and HEVC. Intel's media stack for Linux is also open-source and well maintained.