Intel plans to release second-generation graphics cards, and Battlemage offers to follow up on existing Alchemist cards, in 2024, with two main GPU flavors — led by an advanced enthusiast product, finally — plus we’ll get an Alchemist update later this year, according to a newly leaked roadmap.
This desktop Intel GPU roadmap was provided by YouTuber RedGamingTech (Opens in a new tab) (As tagged by Tom’s Hardware (Opens in a new tab)), and shows a pair of Battlemage GPUs, the BMG-G10 and BMG-G21, launching in the second quarter of 2024 — or at least scheduled to launch in this quarter (with “early enable,” or sampling, to start in the quarter the first).
However, there are some important points to note here about the alleged timing. We should remain skeptical about whether this roadmap is real, as any leak would be, and also bear in mind that the roadmap, even if it is original, is dated Q3 2022 – so it comes from a time back ( And any intended dates may have changed since then (then, naturally).
The BMG-G10 will be enthusiasts’ first GPU for Arc, so there will be a lot of eyes on this one, with a power budget of 225 watts or less as shown in the roadmap. This would be a GPU to theoretically take over heavyweight Nvidia and AMD offerings — or at least come close to that kind of level, an area Intel clearly isn’t competing in right now. The BMG-G21 falls into the performance bracket, where current Alchemist A7 graphics cards are, but with a lower power budget of 150W or less.
Before that, though, we’ll apparently get new models of Alchemist GPUs at the top of the mainstream (read budget) segment, presumably 150W boards with 6GB of VRAM, arriving soon (Q1). or Q2 2023). Then Intel’s plan appears to be an “Alchemist+” update to existing GPUs, with new graphics cards (75W to 100W) in Q3 2023, and a 175W performance model to 225W in Q4 as this year draws to a close.
Another leaked slide shows Intel’s intended developments with Battlemage which include better ray tracing performance, and “next-generation machine learning-based rendering technology” to spice things up.
Analysis: Timing matters
The roadmap shows that Intel plans to make some improvements with more powerful GPUs for Battlemage that draw less wattage, as you might expect. Battlemage’s bottom-end GPU, the BMG-G21, is positioned at the top of the performance segment on the roadmap, above the fastest Alchemist+ update, yet power usage for the former is planned at just under 150W compared to 175W to 225W for the latter.
While keeping the high-end BMG-G10 to a maximum of 225 watts might seem like it would hinder competing with AMD and Nvidia in terms of high-end products, the fact that Intel is offering it as an enthusiast product shows an intent to make some pretty big leaps in terms of performance per watt. Fingers crossed, anyway (and that’s what Intel has already made us anticipate as a focus for the future, too).
Of course, that’s just Intel’s thinking at the time, so take it all in with a hefty pile of spice, and speaking of timing, the launch schedule isn’t quite in line with the latest we’ve heard from the chip giant itself. More specifically, less than a month ago, Intel’s head of graphics, Raja Koduri, told us that Battlemage was on track to launch in 2023 (and indeed, the next generation, Celestial, could debut in 2024).
This is a very different confirmation than the 2024 timeframe for Battlemage shown here, but as we’ve already noted, the leaked roadmap is somewhat outdated – so things could have changed since its inception. That’s why we need to be especially careful about this spill, but even if the timeframes are out of date, the schematic models and power envelopes might still come in handy, and it’s certainly interesting to get a glimpse of what Intel might have up its sleeve.
If Battlemage does indeed arrive in 2023, as Koduri told us, the fitting for Alchemist + update within that year will be pretty tight as well – so if that happens, we’ll likely hear about it very soon indeed.
Whatever happens on the hardware front, we can likely expect progress on both the performance and efficiency fronts – Battlemage’s enthusiastic showing is likely – as well as work on the software side that is equally important.
Polishing the Arc graphics driver is something Intel has been doing well lately, and with more performance and performance gains with the software, we’re hoping to see more powerful GPUs providing much stronger competition for AMD and Nvidia, making for even more effective forays. To dismantle this desktop duopoly.