Intel is betting big on its next-gen Arc graphics. So says a report from Taiwan, where the chips will be manufactured by TSMC. However, with a launch date in the second half of next year, the new GPUs would arrive later than expected.
According Business hours (opens in a new tab) (via Tom’s gear (opens in a new tab)), Intel has placed “large orders” with TSMC to produce its next two generations of Arc gaming graphics chips, dubbed Battlemage and Celestial respectively.
Unfortunately, Commercial Times doesn’t exactly quantify the magnitude of these orders from TSMC, saying only that “Intel is optimistic that esports, AI, and other related applications will drive strong demand for GPUs. “.
Battlemage would be built on TSMC’s 4nm node, while Celestial will use TSMC’s new 3nm lithography. TSMC currently manufactures Intel’s existing generation of Intel Arc graphics, codenamed Alchemist and including the Intel Arc A770 (opens in a new tab) card, and on its 7nm node.
As for those launch dates, Commercial Times estimates that Battlemage is slated for the second half of 2024 and Celestial won’t appear until the second half of 2026.
This somewhat contradicts an allegedly leaked slide from Intel from late last year that predicted Battlemage for early 2024.
Of course, early next year would be much better. Current expectations for Battlemage in terms of performance of the fastest variant clock around RTX 4070 Ti or RTX 4080 levels. If that happens early next year, Intel could do real damage. But if Battlemage doesn’t appear until later in 2024, that could be tricky.
Almost certainly, Nvidia and AMD will roll out another new generation of GPUs themselves in late 2024. So the performance target RTX 4070 Ti will suddenly turn into the RTX 5070 Ti and Intel could suddenly find itself miles off the pace.
After all, Nvidia’s next-gen RTX 50 series (supposedly called Blackwell but it’s very early) is expected to be built on TSMC 3nm technology and will likely offer at least a performance boost over the RTX 40 series. existing.
By contrast, a chip with RTX 4070 Ti or 4080 performance will still be a fairly fast GPU, even late next year. If priced right, it could be quite compelling.
We’d still rather see Battlemage come sooner rather than later. A late 2024 launch would align it with Nvidia’s RTX 50 series and AMD’s next-gen GPUs, likely to be branded Radeon RX 8000 series.
These graphics chipsets will make the competition even tougher as an earlier launch in 2024 would give Battlemage a chance to make an impact in the midrange to high-end GPU market. Given how Painful GPU prices remain (opens in a new tab)it would be awfully good if Intel added a third vector of competition to the market, that’s for sure.