Intel, the world's leading semiconductor manufacturer, has just unveiled the new brand identity for both old and new graphics projects: Arc. This is an opportunity for the sector to see an unprecedented new competitor at a time when the price of graphics cards has taken off.
Intel adds a string to its bow. Long overtaken by NVIDIA and AMD in the graphics card market, Intel wants to make its mark. The Arc brand hopes to establish itself in the hyper-competitive environment of consumer graphics cards. This could be a boon for gamers, as prices have exploded due to the shortage of semiconductor chips, and also for individuals who may soon find laptops and desktop computers at lower prices.
The Arc brand will cover hardware, software and services, and will span several generations of hardware. The first code name for its graphics cards is "Alchemist." This new graphics processor uses the Xe HPG (for High-Performing Graphics) microarchitecture, hoping to compete with Nvidia's GEFORCE or AMD's RADEON technologies. Xe HPG is a convergence of multiple graphics processors that allow the use of advanced graphics functions such as ray tracing or super sampling based on artificial intelligence. The future generations already have their own names with "Battlemage", "Celestial" and "Druid." The release of these new graphics cards is scheduled for early 2022.
New competitors, new offers, towards lower prices?
It will have escaped no one's notice that the shortage of semiconductors has led to an explosion in the price of graphics cards. The health crisis has greatly disrupted the market, creating a gap between supply and demand for these products. An example of the price increase: in June, the market price of the "Nvidia Geforce 30" series of cards was about 200% of the recommended price.
The new Intel competition, accompanied by the likelihood of a rather a lot of stock - Intel manufactures its own semiconductors - should see a drop in the overall price of graphics cards. This is an opportunity to find computers that are a little cheaper, whether for graphics creation, games or more occasional use.