Intel Xe GPUs could be in trouble with rumors hinting at possible delays

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Intel is struggling with perfecting its Xe GPUs, according to the latest chatter from the graphics grapevine.

We should point out upfront here that this is the kind of rumor we have to be very, very careful around, originating from a simple Chiphell forum post made by a leaker who claims to have insider knowledge of Intel’s progress on the graphics card front.

Or lack of it, apparently, as the source indicates that progress does not seem to be going well on the new GPUs, which face an uphill battle against long-established players in the graphics market (Nvidia and AMD).

Not only this, but the efficiency of Intel’s Xe graphics solutions is apparently ‘relatively low’ in comparison to those rivals.

It’s worth noting that this speculation is referring to Intel’s initial version of the Xe GPU, and not the Ponte Vecchio product aimed at heavyweight computing usage we heard about recently, which is built on Intel’s own 7nm process.

Speaking of Ponte Vecchio, the post also contends that the data center GPU won’t be out in 2021 as Intel has previously indicated, but there’s a good chance it may not launch until 2022. Slippage of a year would not really be all that surprising, though, and any major hardware launch can suffer in such a manner.

Driver work

Another claim is that Intel’s graphics driver needs a lot of time to be improved, and that right now, there’s no intention of having third-party GPUs on the market when the video cards are launched – there will only be an Intel reference card.

It might be tempting to dismiss all this out of hand as a flaky rumor, and while indeed we should exercise some serious caution here, as previously noted, this particular leaker (‘Wjm47196’) does have form in getting things right with GPU predictions.

Wjm47196 previously revealed information about the launch of AMD’s Navi graphics cards before it happened, and was on the money with the rumors in that case.

The other point worth considering is that there has been another potentially worrying development at Intel on the GPU front in recent times, namely the departure of a couple of key personnel on the marketing side.

Chris Hook, who was graphics and visual technologies marketing chief, left Intel at the end of November, along with Heather Lennon, senior manager, digital marketing in the graphics department (who only joined back in April 2019, from AMD – in fact both of these former Intel employees came across from AMD).

Considering we are now (allegedly) closing in rapidly on the launch of Xe graphics, a pair of key marketing gurus leaving has certainly raised more than a few eyebrows.

At the end of October, the first standalone Xe graphics card was officially ‘powered on’, and previous rumors hold that we should expect the initial Xe offering maybe as soon as mid-2020, or perhaps later next year. We’ll just have to see how things pan out.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Wjm47196 also recently floated another rumor that AMD will hold its first preview of next-gen (2nd-gen RDNA) Radeon graphics cards at CES.

Via Wccftech

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).