Intel blames software and COVID lockdowns for Arc GPU delays • The Register


Intel Vision The rollout of Intel’s Arc discrete GPUs has been slower than expected for people hungry for a new option in the computer graphics hardware market. This week, the x86 giant tried to explain what takes so long.

On the eve of this week’s Intel Vision event, the chipmaker shared a Remark Monday acknowledging delays in its family of Arc GPUs for laptops. The American company also clarified that Arc GPUs for desktop computers will only land in China in the second quarter, that is, by the end of June, before becoming more widely available across the world. .

Intel “launched” its lowest-end mobile GPU, the Intel Arc 3, in late March, while promising that the more powerful Intel Arc 5 and Intel Arc 7 graphics would hit laptops in early summer. Intel also promised at the time that desktop GPUs would arrive in Q2. All of this was offered without any caveats.

In the weeks that followed, many potential Intel Arc laptop buyers were unable to find one. Until Monday, the best explanation offered by Intel was in a Twitter response on April 7, when the company said availability had started in South Korea with laptops from Samsung and that a wider geographic rollout would take place in the following weeks.

In Monday’s note, Lisa Pearce, Intel’s chief graphics officer, acknowledged that the global rollout of laptops with Intel Arc 3 GPUs has been delayed due to “software readiness” issues and COVID-19 lockdowns. – apparently in China – which have impacted global supply chains.

Pearce said Intel plans to have wider availability of Intel Arc 3 laptops from PC markers at this point, but software and lockdown issues have delayed a wider rollout of laptops with the GPUs. until this month. She added that laptops with Intel Arc 5 and Intel Arc 7 graphics “will begin to be available in early summer.”

While Intel previously promised Arc desktop GPUs would arrive in Q2, Pearce said that’s now only the case for PC makers in China. These companies will first receive low-end Intel Arc 3 desktop graphics cards. Distribution will then expand to retailers across the country. Intel plans to expand availability globally after this point.

Later this summer, Intel will, in theory, launch the more powerful Intel Arc 5 and Intel Arc 7 graphics cards for PC makers around the world. After that, retailers and other companies in the component channel will receive them.

This gradual rollout may disappoint people building their own PCs who have retained a PCIe slot for an Intel Arc card; Pearce said the company is prioritizing PC makers first to “initially limit” some of the variations in system configurations, which can be significant in the desktop world.

Pearce said Intel is beginning its desktop rollout in China due to “proximity of board components and high demand for entry-level discrete products.”

“This phased approach gives us confidence at every stage that we can effectively serve our clientele,” she said.

Until recently, Nvidia and AMD struggled to keep up with the high demand there was for their discrete GPU products, so it’s no wonder people are so eager for a third option. ®


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