Intel announced ambitions to develop its own line of discrete GPUs back in 2018, with the goal of competing with AMD and NVIDIA. Despite multiple delays, including missing its intended 2020 launch target, Intel’s new Arc graphics cards are finally ready for usage in retail devices this spring, with Samsung’s Galaxy Book 2 Pro laptops leading the way.
While Intel’s Arc line will eventually include both laptops and desktops, the first wave of A-series GPUs are low-power cards targeted for ultraportables and thin-and-light notebooks. Beginning with the new Arc A350M and A370M, the company’s graphics cards will utilise a naming scheme similar to its CPUs to assist differentiate between various performance tiers, before moving on to the more powerful Arc 5 and Arc 7 cards, which are coming out later this summer.
Each of the Arc’s XE cores has 16 256-bit Vector Engines and is based on Intel’s XE HPG (High Performance Graphics) microarchitecture. 16 Matrix Engines with 1,024-bit resolution and 192KB of shared memory With hardware encoding up to 8K 10-bit HDR and hardware acceleration for a number of major standards, the XE Media Engine is designed to enable popular video apps (VP9, AVC, HEVC, AV1). The XE Display Engine, on the other hand, was designed to handle video output for up to two 8K displays at 60Hz, four 4K displays at 120Hz, or a single 1440p screen at 360Hz.