Alongside today’s launch of Intel’s DG1-based Iris Xe MAX graphics for laptops, the company is also quietly confirming that DG1 will be coming to desktop video cards as well, albeit in a roundabout way.

Though still in the early stages, a hereto unnamed third party has reached an agreement with Intel to produce DG1-based desktop cards. These cards, in turn, will be going into OEM desktop systems, and they are expected to appear early next year.

The very brief statement from Intel doesn’t contain any other details. The company isn’t saying anything about the specifications of the OEM desktop cards (e.g. clockspeeds), nor are they naming the third party that will be making the cards, or any OEMs who might be using the cards. For today at least, this is a simple notification that there will be OEM cards next year.

As for the market for such cards, there are a couple of avenues. OEMs could decide to treat the cards similarly to how Iris Xe MAX is being positioned in laptops, which is to say as a cheap add-in accelerator for certain GPU-powered tasks. Intel has baked a significant amount of video encode performance into the Xe-LP architecture, so the cards could be positioned as video encode accelerators. This would be very similar to Intel’s own plans, as the company will be selling a DG1-based video encode card for servers called the SG1.

Alternatively, the third party may just be looking to sell the DG1 card to OEMs as simple entry-level discrete graphics cards. Based on what we know about Xe MAX for laptops, DG1 is not expected to be significantly more powerful than Tiger Lake integrated graphics. However, as pointed out by our own Dr. Ian Cutress, it should be a good bit better than any comtemporary Atom’s integrated GPU.


Sadly, the OEM card probably won't be as fancy as Intel's DG1 development card

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  • npz - Saturday, October 31, 2020 - link

    This will be THE Linux GPU. It'll probably be the one most people running linux on cpu-only AMD gets that don't require heavy 3D. For both linux and windows, it'll have it's niche use-case of being a video encoding accelerator. NVENC sucks.

    Intel Xe's from the specs shows the widest support for existing codecs and for AV1. Everyone supports HEVC Main 10, but that's it and only at yuv 4:2:0. HEVC High Profile 12 b, 4k60p @ yuv 4:4:4 will be boon for professional use for cameras and as an more compressible intermediary codec than current ProRes, et al and good for working with digital rgb content. I don't expect it to match x.265 or the ever evolving software encoders for AV1 for quality-to-bitrate ratio but this is purely about quality at higher bitrates at realtime speed for multiple streams
    Reply
  • Dolda2000 - Saturday, October 31, 2020 - link

    >This will be THE Linux GPU
    Why? The Radeon driver stack is just as good in my experience.
    Reply
  • brucethemoose - Sunday, November 1, 2020 - link

    Radeon's video transcoding blocks are also the weakest of the big 3 atm.

    I got a say though, "people who hardware transcode on linux, but don't game" seems like a pretty tiny niche.
    Reply
  • lmcd - Monday, November 2, 2020 - link

    That's not even close to true. Intel's drivers for a given GPU arch are usually ready for an entire operating cycle prior to launch. AMD's usually require a bleeding edge kernel. Reply
  • npz - Monday, November 2, 2020 - link

    The opensource amdgpu is good once it stabilizes and itsn't so great for bleeding edge. So drivers are great out of the box for previous gen cards. However, you still need the proprietary amdgpu-pro driver stack (which layers on top of the opensrouce base amdgpu driver) for things like better Vulkan support, HDMI audio, freesync,, OpenCL, etc. What makes the situation somewhat of a mess is that there's actually opensource versions of some of these components too (for god knows what!?) like Vulkan, and you can install the invidual component packages from the amdgpu-pro on top of amdgpu stack at your own risk Reply
  • Santoval - Saturday, October 31, 2020 - link

    "NVENC sucks"
    Intel's hardware encoders largely suck as well..
    Reply
  • npz - Monday, November 2, 2020 - link

    Quality still can't compare to software at low bitrates, but they have improved significantly with every generation. Much more so than NVENC. Tests, measurements have shown this. Ganesh had one many years ago on Haswell. But a Russian firm specializing in video encoding that releases annual reports has shown the quality improvements. Reply
  • dotes12 - Tuesday, November 3, 2020 - link

    It'd be nice if we could run software video encoding on the GPU to free up the CPU, instead of the GPU doing low quality NVENC or nothing. Reply
  • Alistair - Saturday, October 31, 2020 - link

    That is some real confidence! Only in OEM's where they can pay people to put it in, not even for sale to DIYs. What a fail. Reply
  • shabby - Sunday, November 1, 2020 - link

    Yup we'll be seeing these in $500 acer gaming desktops 🤭 Reply

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