Intel is planning to launch its first GPU in 2020 in a move that will pit it against market leader Nvidia and AMD, the company that Intel chief architect and general manager Raja Koduri left to join Intel in November last year.
The move won't just propel Intel into the market for discrete graphics cards - Intel currently only competes in terms of integrated graphics - but also the burgeoning market for GPUs to run alongside CPUs in supercomputers, and demand for GPUs to help run artificial intelligence applications.
In a statement, Intel's chief engineering officer Dr Murthy Renduchintala described the plans as "exciting" and added that Intel intended to "aggressively expand our computing and graphics capabilities and build on our very strong and broad differentiated IP foundation".
Intel is currently under pressure in its core CPU market from a combination of considerably cheaper ARM-based microprocessors filtering into servers and laptops, combined with intensifying competition from AMD with its highly rated Ryzen and Threadripper CPUs.
Renduchintala continued: "With Raja at the helm of our Core and Visual Computing Group, we will add to our portfolio of unmatched capabilities, advance our strategy to lead in computing and graphics, and ultimately be the driving force of the data revolution."
Koduri has 25 years of experience in GPU design, with his appointment by Intel in November last year a large hint that Intel was planning to shift up-market from integrated graphics into GPUs.
And it's not just about PC gaming, but also the deployment of GPUs - what used to be known as maths co-processors - in both supercomputing, and artificial intelligence and machine learning applications.
The architectural details and specifications still have yet to be revealed and it is an area where Intel has struggled to compete with the market leaders for two decades.
Intel has even licensed AMD's RX Vega M graphics technology to integrate with some of its Core i mobile processors in a bid to improve their capabilities, with the combination making its debut with the 3.1GHZ Core i7-8809G revealed in January this year.
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