Intel’s Tom Petersen reveals the company’s new XE2 architecture strategy

Why is it important: Intel’s original eXascale for Everyone (Xe) architecture roadmap read like a bowl of alphabet soup. It focused on low power (Xe-LP), high performance (Xe-HP), high performance computing (Xe-HPC), and high performance graphics (Xe-HPG) technologies. While the rollout wasn’t exactly what some would call smooth, it provided Intel with an opportunity to gather a wealth of valuable market intelligence, lessons learned, and customer feedback.

Recent HardwareLUXX interview with Intel employee Tom Petersen shared how Intel has used the information it has collected to innovate its approach to developing graphics technologies. The original Xe architecture focused on four different microarchitectures, resulting in delivery delays, cancellations, and less than outstanding software releases. Intel’s new approach to the Xe2 architecture aims to narrow that focus and revitalize the company’s low-power, high-power and data center offerings.

According to Petersen, the Intel Xe2 “Battlemage” architecture will be split into two microarchitectures: Xe Low Power Graphics (Xe-LPG) and Xe-HPG. The move is intended to help Intel better manage its Intellectual Property (IP) and focus on delivering real, usable, scalable solutions by reusing IP across sectors while reducing the total number of GPU variants it makes.

Limiting the number of options needed to support integrated, desktop, and data center solutions will allow Intel to better leverage hardware and software solutions and efficiencies across all sectors. For example, driver and software development can be developed and serve as the basis for all classes of GPUs, rather than requiring completely different solutions for each type of hardware.

The current line of Intel ARC Battlemage GPUs will be the first of the Xe-HPG variants; however, they will likely not be available until early 2024. The low-power integrated Xe-LPG architecture will reportedly be used in Intel’s new Meteor Lake processor family, marking a departure from the company’s vision. Iris He integrated graphics solution.

The change of direction comes at a good time for Team Blue. The ARC A750 and A770 drivers and software, both of which left a lot to be desired when initially released, have continued to improve significantly. So many, in fact, that the new Intel GPUs have been named in several lists low-cost mid-range GPUs that provide excellent value for money. The most recent jumps in performance, stability, and tuning are due to the recent 4091 driver update and a new and improved Intel ARC Control interface.

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