Intel did something of a surprise this weekend, especially on a Saturday: they announced their first Xe-based discrete GPU with the Iris Xe MAX Graphics.
Built with their 10nm "SuperFin" process, the Intel Iris Xe MAX graphics will be based on the Xe-LP microarchitecture that's being used for their Iris Xe graphics in 11th Gen Intel Core mobile processors. This is the first set of discrete graphics along with PCIe Gen 4 support. It's also introducing their new "Deep Link technology, which unlocks creativity in thin-and-light laptops by aggregating multiple processing engines and a common software framework and graphics driver".
From the press release:
What Deep Link Does: Deep Link aggregates multiple processing engines through a common software framework to bring new capabilities and better performance to PCs. This framework helps to unlock creativity in thin-and-light laptops by maximizing CPU performance, boosting artificial intelligence (AI) creation performance and taking industry leading encode to the next level.
How Deep Link Works: Deep Link technology brings together processing engines under a common software framework, allowing software developers to significantly boost content creation workload performance. Applications can scale certain workloads across integrated and discrete graphics. Examples include:
- An additive AI capability that enables inferencing and rendering on both GPUs to accelerate content-creation workloads.
- A combination of industry-leading encode engines in each GPU through hyper encoding that allows the time to render out videos for reviewing or sharing.
According to the press material, Deep Link will be available and supported with the likes of OBS Studio, HandBrake and others with more support coming to the likes of Blender, CyberLink, Fluendo and Magix.
Intel said it's already available and shipping on the Acer Swift 3x, Asus VivoBook Flip TP470 and Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2 in 1. Additionally, their press release made it clear that Intel is pushing forwards with their plan for an Xe-LP-based discrete GPU for desktop PCs to be released in the first half of 2021.