In brief: Later this month the dedicated GPU market will officially be a three-way race between Nvidia, AMD, and Intel. Team Blue plans to ship as many as four million discrete Arc GPUs in 2022, and the first will debut in thin and light laptops with 12th generation Alder Lake processors.
Intel has been dragging its feet when it comes to its Arc Alchemist GPUs, but now we finally have an official launch date for the first chips in this family. According to Lisa Pearce, who is vice president of Intel's Visual Computing Group, Team Blue's first dedicated GPUs in the Alchemist lineup will debut on March 30.
The company will hold a virtual event titled "A New Stage of the Game" at 8 a.m. Pacific where it will detail its Arc mobile GPUs, just as promised during CES 2022. Intel will also reveal more about key technologies around Intel Arc, namely Intel Deep Link and Intel XeSS.
The latter is a supersampling solution akin to Nvidia's DLSS and AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution, while Deep Link is a technology designed to accelerate machine learning tasks as well as balance performance and energy use in laptops equipped with Intel's 12th generation Alder Lake CPUs and Intel Arc graphics.
Pearce said the first Arc GPU to hit the market would be the Intel Arc A370M. The new mobile part will supposedly deliver two times the performance of Intel's Iris Xe integrated graphics while staying within a modest thermal envelope. The claim refers to the average framerate achievable in Metro Exodus at 1080p while using the medium graphics preset, but Pearce didn't give any specific numbers.
A big focus with the A370M has been to certify it for Intel Evo designs, meaning you'll be able to find it in thin and light laptops. But more importantly, Pearce admitted Intel will need more time to optimize the software stack. The company expects to have proper driver support for the top 100 most-used apps and games at launch, and users will be able to consult a public list of games that will be certified as playable at 1080p or 1440p using medium or high graphics presets.
Another technology that Intel might detail at the event is Project Endgame. This is believed to be the company's response to cloud gaming services like Nvidia's GeForce Now and Microsoft's xCloud, with an April-June launch window.
As for Intel's desktop Arc GPUs, they're expected to break cover sometime in May or June.