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Rumor mill: Just when we thought Intel was finally gaining some solid momentum in the discrete GPU space, recent rumblings have thrown a major wrench into those plans. If they hold true, Intel’s next-generation Arc GPUs codenamed “Battlemage” and “Celestial” could face delays or even get axed entirely.

According to a post by (typically) reliable leaker Golden Pig Upgrade on Weibo, there will be no “DG3” discrete graphics cards based on the Xe2 Battlemage architecture coming next year. For those not in the loop, Battlemage is slated to debut first in Intel’s Lunar Lake “Core Ultra” CPUs expected later this year, boasting a hefty performance uplift over the current Alchemist and Alchemist+ parts.

If these get benched or delayed significantly, it’d be a massive blow to Intel’s GPU ambitions.

The situation is the same for Celestial, Intel’s follow-up Xe3 architecture. Golden Pig claims there might not even be Xe3 products next year at all, integrated or discrete. Celestial is supposed to arrive in 2025’s Panther Lake chips on Intel’s 18A and 3 nodes, but this leak casts serious doubt on those plans. It’s still unclear whether the rumored setbacks affect just the discrete GPUs, the integrated versions, or both product lines.

Leak casts doubt on Intel’s Battlemage, Celestial GPU plans for 2024

Abandoning the discrete GPU arena just a year after breaking into it with Arc Alchemist would be equally confusing and disappointing. The Arc team has made impressive strides through steady driver updates, optimizations and day-one game support. Tossing all that progress out the window would be a waste of resources.

However, a report from last month citing sources at April’s Embedded World Conference claimed that Intel plans to introduce Battlemage discrete GPUs before Black Friday 2024. This launch window would avoid the delays that plagued 2022’s Alchemist debut but also pit Battlemage against new Nvidia and AMD offerings. The delays with Alchemist put Intel behind the competition performance-wise, so hitting this alleged November target could make or break Battlemage’s prospects.

The only official word so far has been a roadmap slide from Intel’s Meteor Lake Japan launch keynote late last year, which listed Battlemage GPUs for release sometime this year alongside details on the company’s AI ambitions.

For now though, Golden Pig’s assertions are still just rumors. Because if this leak proves true, it would represent a dramatic shift in strategy and call into question Intel’s ability to compete long-term against team blue and green in the graphics department.

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The post Leak casts doubt on Intel’s Battlemage, Celestial GPU plans for 2024 first appeared on www.techspot.com

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