Intel unveils ARC graphics roadmap, Xe-Cores and XeSS super resolution technology

Published: Aug 19th 2021, 09:33 GMT   Comments

Intel discloses details on its first discrete gaming series

At Intel 2021 Architecture Day Intel confirmed some details on its new Arc GPUs, including their building blocks, architecture, and technology powering the GPUs. 

Xe-HPG architecture

Intel DG2 GPUs will be build using Xe-Cores, those will be grouped in Render Slices. Each Xe-Core will be build using 16 Vector Engines (256-bit) and 16 Matrix Engines (1024-bit per engine). Under each Xe-Core there is a single Ray Tracing Unit (without a fancy name like AMD’s or NVIDIA’s). Thus, DG2 GPUs will have an equal number of Xe-Cores and Ray Tracing Units. The DG2 GPUs feature Memory Fabric which is a large L2 Cache.

Intel has released a block diagram of the flagship DG2 (Arc Alchemist) GPU, the 512EU variant:

XeSS is Intel’s Super Resolution technology

Intel XSS will be powered by DP4a and XMX instructions which are present in either already-released DG1 GPUs (Xe-LP) or the upcoming Intel Xe-HPG series (DG2). The XMX Matrix Engines are the building block of AI acceleration on next-generation Arc “Alchemist” GPUs. Each DG2 chip will feature 16 Matrix Engines and 16 Vector Engines

Intel discloses that frame render time will be higher than traditional upscaling methods, but it will also be significantly lower than rending native 4K images. Those values are not tied to any numbers, it is just a conceptual diagram.

Intel XeSS is temporal-based upscaling technology that will account for motion vectors (velocity) and the history of previous frames. This data will be processed by XeSS XMX instructions before they reach postprocessing.

XeSS Demo


Xe-HPG roadmap without dates

Intel has now confirmed the microarchitecture codenames for the next three ARC series, Alchemist, Battlemage, and Celestial are to be build using HPG and their derivatives while the fourth Gen Arc series is likely to feature a new microarchitecture, described as ‘Xᵉ Next’. The Alchemist Series will be using TSMC N6 process technology:

The full lineup of HPG GPUs looks like this:

  • Xᵉ HPG – Alchemist
  • Xᵉ² HPG – Battlemage
  • Xᵉ³ HPG – Celestial
  • Xᵉ Next Architecture – Druid

What the official slide called ‘Roadmap’ is clearly lacking are the dates for consecutive ARC series. Intel only confirms that Alchemist based on Xe-HPG (DG2) GPUs will debut in Q1 2022 with no further details on future generations.

Intel ARC Graphics Roadmap
VideoCardzIntel ARC
Intel ARC
Intel ARC
Intel ARC
GPU µrchitectureXᵉ HPGXᵉ² HPGXᵉ³ HPGXᵉ Next Architecture
Fabrication NodeTSMC N6TBCTBCTBC
Release DateQ1 2022TBCTBCTBC

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