Things have been pretty quiet on the Intel GPU front lately. The Arc launch came and went, and as far as we can tell, people who bought them are happy so far. However, Intel is kind of playing in its own pool for now. Since the Arc Alchemist A700 GPUs are only 225W cards, they don’t compete with the recent high-end GPUs from AMD and Nvidia. Now according to a leaked roadmap, it looks like Intel doesn’t plan on changing that approach any time soon. It will continue with Arc Alchemist throughout 2023, and drop its next architecture in the latter half of 2024. That is if these slides are to be believed, which isn’t a certainty.
This new information comes from the YouTube channel RedGamingTech (via Tom’s Hardware). It shows Intel will continue with its current Alchemist architecture throughout 2023, which is a bit surprising. We didn’t expect Battlemage to show up immediately, but if it’s still a year and a half away that seems like a very long time. Still, it would match the cadence developed by its competitors. Both AMD and Nvidia are on a two-year timeline between architectures right now. The slide shows the company will launch Battlemage in Q2 of 2024, with it firmly in the “enthusiast” market. The BMG-G10 GPU will be similar to its existing A770 in that it’ll also be a 225W card.
These specs are exactly what its graphics chief Raja Koduri said is the “sweet spot” for most gamers: a card with a single PCIe power cable, using between 200 to 225W. We also know from a second leaked slide that it’ll offer a lot of improvements over Alchemist despite being in the same power envelope. Those include “next-gen” compression and a revamped memory subsystem, plus wide-ranging improvements to ray tracing performance, and a new machine-learning rendering technology. The slide also states various microarchitecture improvements, which is quite vague.
One strange bit is it says Intel plans on an Alchemist refresh in mid-2023. This is called Alchemist+ in the slide above. It’s not odd that Intel would want to release an improved version of its GPUs; it’s the timing. If it comes in the middle of next year, that’ll be when AMD and Nvidia are releasing midrange GPUs for Ada and RDNA3. Obviously, those cards will likely stomp all over Alchemist, so that seems like a weird play for Intel.
One thing that’s important to keep in mind here is the slide is dated Q3 2022. That means it was made before Alchemist launched in September. Therefore, a lot could have already changed and will change. There were also many delays for Intel’s first GPU, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see schedules shift in the future. Still, we’re excited to see what it has in store for its second bite at the apple. It’s just a shame we’ll have to wait more than a year to find out.