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Intel announces its first discrete DG1 GPU

Intel has dominated the CPU game for decades, and at CES 2020, the company officially announced its first discrete GPU, the codenamed “DG1”, marking a big step forward for Intel’s computing ambitions.

There were almost no details provided on the DG1, but Intel did showcase a live demo of Destiny 2 running on the GPU. Rumors from Tom’s Hardware indicate that the DG1 is based on the Xe architecture, the same graphics architecture that will power Intel’s integrated graphics on the upcoming 10nm Tiger Lake chips that it also previewed at its CES keynote.

Intel says that the integrated Xe graphics on Tiger Lake will deliver doubled graphics performance compared to its previous-generation chips, which means that the DG1 GPU will likely offer an even greater boost to Intel’s graphics performance. Tom’s Hardware speculates that the initial DG1 will simply be a discrete version of the integrated graphics coming with Tiger Lake, but notes that even if that’s the case, Intel may be looking to take advantage of its synchronized CPU / GPU solution by enabling the integrated and discrete graphics to work in concert for twice the total graphics power, an intriguing possibility if true.

Lack of control over discrete graphics for laptops has long been a pain point for Intel, so much so that in 2018 Intel actually teamed up with rival chipmaker AMD to create a hybrid line of Core i5 chips with on-board AMD GPUs. Intel has been working on the project for some time, too, with the company hiring AMD’s chief graphics architect, Raja Koduri, back in 2017 to head a new Core and Visual Computing Group.

Intel hasn’t said when to expect to see devices powered by the DG1 arrive; the company did say that its first Tiger Lake chips with integrated Xe graphics are expected to ship later this year, with chips set to arrive at OEMs this summer.

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