Intel will take on Nvidia and AMD GPUs by mid-2020 – but gamers could be disappointed

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Intel could be preparing to launch its discrete graphics card, based on its Xe architecture and built using the 10nm process, by the middle of 2020.

This means that by the halfway point of next year, Nvidia and AMD, the two main players when it comes to discrete (standalone) GPUs will have to share the market with a new rival: Intel.

The rumors of a mid-2020 launch for the Intel Xe graphics card come from industry sources, according to DigiTimes. Apparently, the sources have said that: “Instead of purely targeting the gaming market, Intel is set to combine the new GPUs with its CPUs to create a competitive platform in a bid to pursuit business opportunities from datacenter, AI and machine learning applications.”

That means that Intel’s upcoming graphics card might not be aimed at gamers. The focus on AI and machine learning applications in particular could worry Nvidia, which has been investing heavily in those areas.

Increasing influence

So, PC gamers looking for a new GPU to run the latest games might be a bit disappointed. However, according to DigiTime’s sources, Intel is looking to increasing its profitability in the PC and datacenter markets, which also increasing its influence and reach in the AI and autonomous driving markets.

While Intel is best known for making processors, along with integrated graphics (which are included in the same chip as the processor), it has dabbled in making discrete GPUs before – but without success.

It seems like the company is more determined to succeed this time, and has nabbed AMD’s former CTO of graphics, Raja Koduri. Intel has also created an R&D center in India to work on the 10nm Intel Xe GPU, which again according to DigiTimes will launch in 2020, with a 7nm GPU, using Foveros 3D technology coming in 2021.

The rumours of an Intel Xe graphics card release date of mid-2020 corresponds with an earlier cryptic tweet by Koduri, which hinted at a June 2020 release.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.