Intel Unveils Xe DG1-SDV Graphics Card - tech|
(hx) 12:38 AM CET - Jan,10 2020
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The DG1-SDV is able to play games at 1080p, even if they are technically lightweight titles like "Warframe," and aren't maxing out settings. The SDV is a 15.2 cm-long graphics card that relies on the PCI-Express slot for power entirely (and hence pulling less than 75 W). We already know from Intel's Xe slides since 2019 that the Xe architecture is designed to be extremely scalable, with a single ISA scaling all the way from iGPUs to tiny discrete GPUs like the DG1-SDV, and scaling all the way up to double-digit TFLOP-scale compute processors for the HPCs. Along the way, though, Intel intends to compete in the gaming and client-graphics space by developing products at just the right scale of the Xe architecture, with just the right performance/Watt to compete with specific products from the NVIDIA-AMD duopoly. Forget the high-end for a moment. If Intel is able to match even the GTX 1650 and RX 5500 (or their future $150 successors) in performance and power, they end up tapping into a double-digit percentage of the client-graphics TAM, and that spells trouble for Santa Clara and Markham. The Xe DG1 is backed by Intel's robust software stack, which has seen breakneck development and feature-additions in recent times, such as a modern Control Center app, support for modern technologies such as variable-rate shading, integer scaling, etc. Intel has, for over a decade, established a foothold in the client media-acceleration space with its Quick Sync video encoders, and Xe only dials that a notch. The DG1 features Intel's entire media-acceleration and display-controller feature-set. Intel is also designing Xe to be extremely configurable by OEMs, to make the GPU finely-match their product's thermal and power targets.
The Xe DG1-SDV (software development vehicle) is a contraption that's more evolved than "working prototype," and stops short of being a production product. It is designed to to be stable and durable enough for its target audience: ISVs, individual software developers, and systems engineers evaluating the thing for major hardware OEMs. The card has the exact same physical dimensions as the Radeon R9 Nano, and fits into any machine that has two full-height expansion slots and a PCI-Express x16 interface, no additional power cables needed. A single fan cools an aluminium fin-stack heatsink underneath. Throughout the demo, the cooler was more than audible and in need of acoustic optimization. The cooler shroud and back-plate bear a futuristic silvery design, there's also a row of LEDs near the I/O shield that put out light into the grooves of the shroud.