Intel Arc dedicated graphics face off with NVIDIA and AMD next year

We already knew that Intel was planning to start offering its own line of discrete graphics cards at some point in the future, and today, the company brought us one step closer to a full reveal. Today, Intel announced the brand that it will release this graphics hardware under Intel Arc and told us when we can expect to see the first Arc hardware launch.

Unfortunately, we've still got a wait ahead of us. Intel today said that we'd start seeing the first Arc hardware in Q1 2022, so the launch is still months away. Sadly, Intel didn't give us many specifics to tide us over either, as it says that more details will be arriving later this year.

Intel did give us a few morsels to sink our teeth into, though. We know that Intel Arc products will be based on the Xe-HPG microarchitecture, which the company describes as "a convergence of Intel's Xe LP, HP, and HPC microarchitectures." We also know that first-generation Arc hardware will support hardware-based ray tracing, AI-driven super sampling, and DirectX 12 Ultimate, so it certainly sounds like Intel is going to take the fight to competitors in the discrete graphics space right out of the game.

And if there was any doubt that Intel's target audience for this hardware is gamers, the codenames for Arc generations should lay that to rest. Intel announced today that first-generation Arc hardware is codenamed Alchemist (formerly DG2), while subsequent generations will be codenamed Battlemage, Celestial, and Druid.

That's all we're getting out of Intel for now, though you can watch a sizzle reel of Intel Arc at work in the tweet we've embedded above. New details are apparently coming down the pipeline later this year, so we'll let you know when Intel shares them.