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Intel's DG1 discrete GPU is now in production, and a high-end gaming GPU coming in 2021

Intel held its Architecture Day event today, presented by lead architect Raja Koduri. The event covered a few areas Intel is investing in, including its Intel Xe graphics architecture and the technology inside the upcoming Tiger Lake processors.

If you've been following along, Intel began teasing its first discrete GPU in over 20 years all the way back in 2018, and the card was talked about again at this year's CES. This upcoming GPU, the DG1, is based on Intel's Xe-LP (low power) graphics architecture, and today Intel revealed that it's now in production, and that it's on track to begin shipping later this year. Developers can actually begin testing it today through Intel DevCloud. The Xe-LP architecture is also what power the graphics processing inside the upcoming Tiger Lake processors, which are expected to bring much better graphics performance compared to previous generations. Intel also announced that its Xe-based server GPU, the SG1, will be available later this year.

But if what you're really looking for is a high-end GPU to compete with the likes of Nvidia's RTX family, Intel has good news for you, too. Today, it introduced the Xe-HPG architecture, geared at high-performance gaming. Intel says it's combining the performance-per-watt of the Xe-LP architecture with the scalability of the Xe-HP (high power) architecture, and the frequency optimization of the XE-HPC (high performance computing). This new architecture is combined with a memory subsystem based on GDDR6, and the card will also support ray tracing. Intel says it plans to start shipping the Xe-HPG architecture next year.

Turning over to CPUs, Intel unveiled its 10nm SuperFin technology, which Intel says is redefining FinFET, promising a performance leap equal to that of a full node transition. This is the technology used in the upcoming Willow Cove architecture, which is what's inside the Tiger Lake CPUs coming later this year, it results in significantly higher clock speeds and more power efficiency. Tiger Lake also has new power management capabilities, support for Thunderbolt 4, and a handful of other improvements.

Intel also made some other announcements, such as the conclusion of testing for its hybrid bonding packaging process, and advancements in the hybrid technology that will power its upcoming Alder Lake processors. Alder Lake will combine the company's Golden Cove and Gracemont architectures and promises "great performance per watt".

Intel also announced that its Ice Lake-based Xeon processors will be available later this year, with support for PCIe Gen 4, total memory control, and performance improvements. The next generation of Xeon processors, Sapphire Rapids, will make use of the aforementioned SuperFin technology, and support GDDR5, PCIe Gen 5, and Compute Express Link 1.1. It will launch in the second half of 2021.

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