Intel Unveils Xe DG1-SDV Graphics Card at CES 2020

Intel has showcased its Xe GPU architecture, with DG1 teased at CES 2020 through Tiger Lake. The Xe DG1 Software Development Vehicle (developer-edition) will allow software developers to discover and learn the Xe graphics architecture and develop optimization processes for their current and future software within their organizations. But unlike lots of other developer-edition hardware that looks ugly unfinished, Intel has put some effort and makes it looks more like a finished product with shroud and back-plate bear a futuristic silvery design with a single fan cools an aluminum fin-stack heatsink underneath. There are no additional power cables and it runs through a PCI-Express x16 interface. There’s also a row of LEDs near the I/O shield that put out light into the grooves of the shroud. The back IO includes one HDMI and three DisplayPort.

Intel Unveils Xe DG1-SDV Graphics Card at CES 2020

“Tiger Lake” gate-crashes the party
Intel is still trying to break its habit from being a CPU maker foremost. The “Tiger Lake” CPU microarchitecture is a significant inflection point of Intel’s next-gen “Willow Cove” CPU core, and the first implementation of Xe as an iGPU solution. Given the volumes of CPUs with iGPUs Intel pushes, Xe is expected to hit critical mass in the client-segment with “Tiger Lake” proving the launchpad. There are some interesting tidbits in the “Tiger Lake” slide:

  • There’s a “massive leap” in graphics performance, compared to current Gen11 architecture, thanks to Xe
  • Unless we’re badly mistaken, Intel just put out a CPU IPC guidance for “Willow Cove” as being “double-digit” (we assume in comparison to current Ice Lake / Sunny Cove)
  • A “massive” AI performance improvement from DLBoost and support for more AVX-512 instructions
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