At a recent analyst event, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich disclosed that his company aims to launch its first new graphics card in 2020. This is the third time the chip giant tries to enter the video card market, earlier attempts like the Intel 740 and the Larrabee project failed to pick up steam.
Faced with the enormous growth of the gaming market, and the massive margins NVIDIA enjoys in the datacenter market, Intel is giving it another try and even hired former AMD Radeon guru Raja Koduri to spearhead the project.
Krzanich told analysts the first Intel video card is slated for 2020, a timeframe that doesn't leave a lot of room for error. This will include solutions for the datacenter and client markets.
Intel did not go into detail about what performance level or target market this first discrete GPU solution might address, but Intel EVP of the Data Center Group Navin Shenoy confirmed that the company’s strategy will include solutions for data center segments (think AI, machine learning) along with client (think gaming, professional development).
This is a part of the wider scale AI and machine learning strategy for Intel, that includes these discrete graphics chip products in addition to other options like the Xeon processor family, FPGAs from its acquisition of Altera, and custom AI chips like the Nervana-based NNP.
There's little doubt that of all tech firms, Intel is best positioned to take on NVIDIA in the GPU market. Still, it will be interesting to see if the chip giant can succeed. It will not only have to make a chip that performs well, it also needs competitive energy efficiency and good software.