Intel has confirmed it will start to sell discrete GPUs in the year 2020.
News of Chipzilla’s plans appeared in a post by analyst Ryan Shrout, who said that Intel CEO Brian Krasnich last week told an analyst event about the company’s plans.
Intel confirmed Shrout’s piece, telling us "We’re pleased to confirm our first discrete GPU is coming in 2020. As we’ve previously stated, our intent is to expand our leading position in integrated graphics for the PC market with high-end discrete graphics solutions for a broad range of computing segments."
Details remain scanty, but a move into GPUs would be entirely sensible for a few reasons.
Firstly, they’re selling like hot cakes and demand is so high they can sometimes be hard to find. Intel would be mad not to offer buyers another source given AMD and NVIDIA can hardly shove their kit out of a fab fast enough to keep up with demand.
Second, Intel recently discontinued its Xeon Phi co-processor line. GPUs would be a more-than-handy replacement for the Phi.
Third, GPUs are Just Becoming The Way Stuff Gets Done, especially in markets like AI, HPC and visualization in which Intel already plays. Not doing GPUs would therefore be stupid.
Lastly, Intel needs new revenue sources. It missed mobile and its IoT efforts have not gone well. There’s no sign its efforts to build connected cars will turn into cash any time soon. Ditto 5G chipsets.
Meanwhile PC sales are slumping, Optane isn’t yet a big money-spinner and AMD is nibbling at its data centre business . Developing GPUs would show investors that Intel has its eyes on where computing is going and do so in markets in which it knows how to do business.
Intel could probably make pretty gnarly GPUs, too. The company’s playbook usually emphasises integration – think baking PC graphics into CPUs and WiFi into Centrino – to make technologies easier to consume. The Register reckons that when Intel’s GPUs debut they’ll be discrete devices but try to match rivals on performance and beat them on packaging.
Come the year 2020, feel free to cane us if we got that wrong. ®