Intel ARC GPU launch delayed by software issues and COVID-19

The launch of Intel ARC Alchemists doesn’t go as planned – but again, most people don’t. According to a Intel blog post Written by Lisa Pearce, Vice President and General Manager of the Visual Compute Group, Intel’s Arc Alchemist launch was hit by software development issues that pushed availability forward in all designs, from GPUs mobile to desktop Arc cards – the initial version of which seems to lock in for OEMs and system integrators. The blog post also indicates the impact of the recent COVID-19 outbreaks in China (which we have already covered) on component availability.

According to Pearce, Intel is addressing issues – especially production issues – with a number of OEMs, such as Samsung, Lenovo, Acer, HP and Asus, to increase the number of designs shipped with the Arc A3560 and A370 d ‘Intel. chart. However, if you’re hoping for more graphics power and looking at Intel’s Arc A750 and A770, you’ll have to wait until early summer.

Intel’s job of delivering high-performance desktop graphics solutions is even more complicated. According to the company, Intel Arc desktop graphics will initially only be available through OEMs and system integrators. According to Pearce, this is done in order to control the number of hardware configurations that can be paired with the company’s first high-performance desktop GPUs. Compatibility is one of the pitfalls of PC components; there are a myriad of possible hardware configurations that can be paired with a latest generation graphics card, and GPU manufacturers such as Nvidia and AMD know full well how this adds to the driver complexity and potential performance issues that cause it. accompany. It may take a while before you can actually pick up an Intel ARC graphics card off the shelves at your local hardware store.

In addition to the staggered launch of Arc, Intel’s blog notes that the initial rollout of the entry-level Arc desktop boards (A3 series) will take place for the first time in China from the second quarter, with a launch later in the year for A5 and A7 series cards. That makes sense for a launch troubled by material and component shortages as well as supply chain bottlenecks that are still being felt: China is the global hotspot for materials and chip processing. . Once again, the worldwide rollout of desktop Arc cards will come later.

None of this is particularly surprising; we’ve already covered the staggered launch of Intel’s Arc Alchemist line. Originally slated for worldwide availability, we were as surprised as you are when Intel announced limited, localized availability of Arc GPUs through a partnership with Samsung for the South Korean market, before increasing availability on Samsung designs. and other partners around the world. Added to this is a particularly egregious moment for Intel’s software development efforts, after the company failed to produce a promised Day 0 driver release for Elden Ring that never materialized.

Delays and execution issues in Intel’s Arc launch are occurring even as Intel recently promoted Raja Koduri to Executive Vice President for his contributions to Intel over the years. Of course, constant software and hardware delays don’t paint a picture of flawless execution. But we live in strange times in the PC space – and in the world. Maybe Intel knows more about its Arc GPUs than it’s letting on.

Margie D. Carlisle