Intel’s first high-end consumer GPU to launch as Arc early next year

Intel’s highly anticipated consumer GPU and software will arrive under the name Arc, the company said Monday morning.

The first GPU will be based on its Xe HPG microarchitecture, which is expected to launch in the next few months. Future generations will use the code names “Battlemage,” “Celestial,” and “Druid.” The company didn’t say what inspired the codenames, but they may be an homage to Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls games.

Arc will span graphics hardware, software, and services, and offer “frictionless gaming and content creation experiences to gamers and creators worldwide,” Intel said.

“Today marks a key moment in the graphics journey we started just a few years ago. The launch of the Intel Arc brand and the reveal of future hardware generations signifies Intel’s deep and continued commitment to gamers and creators everywhere. We have teams doing incredible work to ensure we deliver first-class and frictionless experiences when these products are available early next year,” said Intel VP of client graphics Roger Chandler in a post to Intel’s newsroom Monday morning.

Intel has been building toward its entry into graphics for more than two years now. The company teasing in March that the first Xe HPG—now renamed Arc—would be “20 times” faster than its original Crystal Well graphics integrated graphic design.

Intel’s latest foray into consumer graphics comes during perhaps the worst drought of graphics cards in the history of the PC. Fueled by the global pandemic, a huge spike in demand for gaming, and prolonged chip shortages, Intel’s entry is being viewed by PC gamers as much-needed relief.

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