Image: Intel

Intel has finally launched its oft-discussed “DG1” discrete GPU, which is debuting today in the form of an Iris Xe MAX graphics chip designed specifically for thin-and-light laptop products.

According to Intel, Iris Xe MAX is powerful enough to handle today’s most popular games in 1080p. The GPU introduces two new features, Game Sharpening and Instant Game Tuning, the latter of which comprises automatic driver updates.

Iris Xe MAX also leverages Intel’s Deep Link technology for improved performance. It works by aggregating multiple processing engines and a common software framework, allowing workloads to be scaled across integrated and discrete GPUs.

The first devices to feature Iris Xe MAX graphics are the Acer Swift 3x, Asus VivoBook Flip TP470, and Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2 in 1. These thin-and-light laptops are available starting today.

Original Press Release

What’s New: Today, Intel launched Intel® Iris® Xe MAX graphics, designed for thin-and-light laptops and now available from partners. Intel Iris Xe MAX graphics is based on the same Xe-LP microarchitecture used for Intel Iris Xe graphics in 11th Gen Intel® Core™ mobile processors. It is Intel’s first Xe-based discrete graphics processing unit (GPU) as part of the company’s strategy to enter the discrete graphics market. Intel Iris Xe MAX platforms feature Intel® Deep Link technology as part of Intel® Adaptix™, support PCIe Gen 4 and address an emerging need for content creation performance in thin-and-light laptops.

“We set out to redefine the role of discrete graphics in thin-and-light laptops and address a growing segment of creators who want more portability. Iris Xe MAX graphics and Intel® Deep Link technology serve as examples of the kind of platform-level innovation that Intel plans to bring to market in the future as we execute to our scalable Xe roadmap.”
– Roger Chandler, vice president and general manager of Client XPU Product and Solutions in the Intel Architecture, Graphics and Software Group

Why It Matters: During Intel® Architecture Day, Intel announced that the Xe-LP microarchitecture will deliver advanced performance for mobile platforms. Intel Iris Xe graphics has been a game changer for the mobile PC visual experience and, together with 11th Gen Intel Core mobile processors, delivers amazing low-power graphics with leading media, display and AI. Intel continues its innovation and leadership by combining 11th Gen Core mobile processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics and Intel Iris Xe MAX graphics to help enable new experiences, provide developers with access to a more open and common software framework, and simplify driver distribution and validation for customers.

What Deep Link Does: Deep Link aggregates multiple processing engines through a common software framework to bring new capabilities and better performance to PCs. This framework helps to unlock creativity in thin-and-light laptops by maximizing CPU performance, boosting artificial intelligence (AI) creation performance and taking industry leading encode to the next level.

  • How Deep Link Works: Deep Link technology brings together processing engines under a common software framework, allowing software developers to significantly boost content creation workload performance. Applications can scale certain workloads across integrated and discrete graphics. Examples include:
  • An additive AI capability that enables inferencing and rendering on both GPUs to accelerate content-creation workloads.
    A combination of industry-leading encode engines in each GPU through hyper encoding that allows the time to render out videos for reviewing or sharing.

The first Deep Link-enabled applications use Intel® Media SDK, Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO™ toolkit and Intel® VTune™ Profiler to access the full power of the platform. Developers will also be able to utilize Deep Link technology using Intel’s powerful cross-architecture oneAPI toolkits. Developers interested in accessing Deep Link technology can sign up for future updates and information.

Where You Can Get It: Available starting today, Intel® Iris® Xe MAX graphics is available for Acer Swift 3x, Asus VivoBook Flip TP470 and Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2 in 1. These are the first devices to leverage 11th Gen Intel Core mobile processors, Intel Iris Xe MAX graphics and Intel Deep Link technology.

What It Delivers: 11th Gen Intel Core mobile processors paired with Intel Iris Xe MAX graphics deliver Additive AI to provide 7 times faster AI-based creation than similar laptops configured with third-party graphics, and Hyper Encode for up to 1.78 times faster encoding than a high-end desktop graphics card. Additionally, the CPU is rarely optimized in thin-and-light laptops paired with third-party discrete graphics. Deep Link’s Dynamic Power Share enables all the power and thermal resources to be dedicated to the CPU when the discrete graphics is idle, resulting in up to 20% better CPU performance when a creator attempts a sustained task such as executing a final render.
Intel Iris Xe MAX graphics also deliver great thin-and-light 1080p gaming on popular games. Intel is adding to the game experience by delivering two new features: Game Sharpening and Instant Game Tuning. These features will be available through the Intel® Graphics Command Center.

Intel is offering two bundle promotions that offer creator applications and games. One bundle for 11th Gen Intel Core Processor-based systems will go live Nov 3; a second bundle exclusively for Intel Iris Xe MAX-based systems will be available through Amazon.com and other participating retailers.

What’s Next: The Xe architecture is a fully scalable graphics architecture that will serve many markets, from integrated graphics to entry-level discrete to high-end gaming and datacenter graphics for HPC and AI workloads. In addition to mobile, Intel is working with its partners to bring Xe-LP-based discrete graphics to value desktops in the first half of 2021. Intel is on the path to improve the visual computing experience for billions of people as it continues to ramp up Xe architecture products and software initiatives, with the Xe-LP based Intel® Server GPU shipping this year and Xe-HP and Xe-HPG products arriving in 2021.

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