Intel was somewhat light on details concerning its Arc Alchemist graphics cards at CES 2022, and now some concerns are tentatively being aired about whether these new GPUs might ship on time.
Granted, said concerns are based on just a couple of small tweaks to Intel’s Arc GPU web page, as flagged by VideoCardz (or rather, one of the tech site’s readers), but we have to say that the changes are slightly worrying.
What’s happened is that where Intel had previously written “unleash your imagination with new Intel Arc graphics solutions, coming Q1 2022”, the site has been adjusted to say “coming 2022”; in other words, the Q1 target has been removed.
Further down the page, there was another mention of the Arc GPUs being “available in desktops, add-in-cards, and notebook form factors from global partners in Q1 2022” which has also had the Q1 bit removed. Interesting, for sure – so what might this mean?
Analysis: Hints of a release date curveball for Arc? Let’s hope not
Well, on the face of it, this doesn’t look like great news for that Q1 2022 release date which Intel has consistently mentioned in the past, and indeed repeated at CES (as we reported previously, Intel doubled-down on the assertion of a Q1 launch in its CES keynote).
However, somewhat tellingly, Intel only talked relatively briefly about Arc at CES, and mentioned just laptops (with 50 designs using these GPUs incoming) and XeSS tech (its DLSS rival) mainly, with nothing much said about desktop graphics cards (the bit many of us are most keen to see).
So, the hint there could be taken as laptop GPUs coming first, but with the removal of Q1 from the Arc site, it’s easy to see how this could be taken as a bad sign – and that it might be Q2 rather than the first quarter before we see any graphics card alchemy at all from Intel, as it were.
One such change on the Intel website could easily be interpreted as a mistake, but the fact that Q1 has been removed in two separate places makes it seem unlikely that this is the case.
The upshot is that while Intel did indeed reassert the Q1 release timeframe earlier this week at CES, this website move, we believe, is some valid cause for concern – particularly when you take into account some of the previous doubts from the rumor mill around Intel having difficulty pinning a launch schedule down, and that things might not happen in Q1 as planned.
All of this is just speculation, and doesn’t rule out a Q1 launch, of course – for laptop GPUs perhaps, at any rate – but even if Intel is currently targeting the first quarter to get at least some Alchemist product out, things can slip, and these website changes could be an indication that Intel’s confidence might have slipped a little, too.
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