Phoronix reports that Intel has begun work implementing Battlemage driver support into Linux. The proof was seen in an Intel compiler Mesa update on GitLab, stating that register size changes were being made for Xe2 (i.e., Battlemage). Intel’s driver enablement work aligns well with Battlemage’s 2H 2024 release date. We’ve seen this behavior with previous GPU releases where developers will start to focus on Linux driver support a year (or more) before a future GPU lineup release.
Battlemage is the codename for Intel’s next-generation discrete GPU architecture, set to succeed Intel’s current lineup of Arc Alchemist A-series GPUs. Very little is known about the architecture’s performance, but it is believed Battlemage will offer improved ray tracing performance, new memory compression technologies, and a new AI rendering technology.
Leaks have revealed that there will be at least two different graphics card variants, one featuring a 225W TBP and the other a 150W TBP. According to leaked data from Intel’s testing equipment, Battlemage’s GPU die size will also be larger than Arc Alchemist’s by up to 2.5%.
Battlemage will come in two formats to fit Intel’s suite of graphics solutions. One will (obviously) be its discrete gaming-focused form, known as Xe2-HPG, and the other will be an integrated graphics solution codenamed Xe2-LPG. These integrated GPUs have already been confirmed to be integrated into Intel’s future Lunar Lake CPU architecture, which is also expected to debut in 2024.
Even less is known about Lunar Lake, but we know it will come with two new CPU core designs, including Lion Cove P-cores and Skymont E-cores. It will also come with Intel’s bleeding-edge 18A node, which will have a 10% efficiency improvement over 20A, which isn’t even in any Intel CPUs yet. Lunar Lake is expected to arrive first as a mobile-exclusive solution and then later in a desktop format.
Battlemage will also be the first GPU architecture to come with just two planned designs instead of four, which was the original strategy for Arc Alchemist. Before Arc was released, Intel was scheduled to release four different variants of Alchemist suited to gaming, iGPUs, high-performance computing (HPC), and the data center. But mid-way through development, Intel realized it could repurpose its HPG design to serve the HPC and datacenter markets.
We will know more about Battlemage next year once Intel officially announces its next-generation GPU lineup. But Intel’s Linux enablement start-up is another confirmation that Battlemage will be coming out soon.
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