Forward-looking: Intel’s launch of its new desktop graphics cards wasn’t exactly a resounding success. Arc Alchemist arrived with so many issues and mediocre reviews that there were rumors the company would cut its losses and abandon the entire project. But Chipzilla isn’t giving up on ambitions for its GPUs to become a real alternative to Nvidia’s and AMD’s cards, and that could happen once Battlemage arrives next year.
Intel and Raja Koduri, chief architect and senior vice president of the company’s architecture, graphics and software division, have repeatedly said that Arc isn’t going away. According to an alleged leaked roadmap from RedGamingTech, we now know Intel’s future plans for its discrete desktop cards.
The roadmap shows that Intel will release two 150W SKUs in the current Arc series during this quarter: the SKU4 (D23-P5) and SKU5 (D23-M3), both of which are more mid-range cards offering 6GB of 16 Gbps memory.
The roadmap also includes a refreshed family of Arc Alchemist GPUs called Alchemist+. This is planned (or was planned) to arrive in the third quarter of the year and is apparently based on the ACM+ G21 GPU for the high-end cards with a TDP rating of 175-225W, and the ACM+ G20 for budget offerings with a TDP range between 75-100W.
It’s next year when things could interesting. Intel will finally enter the enthusiast graphics card market with its Battlemage GPUs based on the Xe2-HPG microarchitecture. The high-end BMG-G10 GPU that has a TDP of <225W lands in the second quarter of 2024, while the BMG-G21 GPU with its <150W TDP arrives later in the same quarter.
Battlemage looks set to feature a number of upgrades, including better ray tracing, improvements to the microarchitecture, next-generation memory subsystem and compression, new machine learning rendering technology, the latest DeepLink capabilities, and next-gen machine learning-based rendering tech. Intel writes that the cards will target the performance and enthusiast gaming segments of the market.
Following Battlemage in Intel’s series of cards inspired by D&D names will be Celestial and Druid. Intel’s Tom Petersen said last year that most of the ASIC team is working on Battlemage, with a small portion on Celestial and an even smaller number still on Alchemist.