When a company drops a branding change without warning, it is pretty clear they want repetition not analysis. SemiAccurate is used to this and Intel’s Arc starts out in the traditional hole of weak branding.
Lets start with the simple bits, Intel’s GPU are now branded Arc for no apparent reason and the motif is a blatant ripoff of AMD’s Zen logo. If you are going to be unoriginal, why not swipe from the best? In a fact free splash page, Intel said nothing really, they didn’t even have the courtesy to put out text, only chirpy videos that were painful to watch. If you want to know why no kids want want a PC, only phones, you only need to look as far as the Intel web page and how it is formatted, talk about ceding the high ground. And low. And everything in between.
DG2 is now a product under the Arc family with the code name Alchemist. DG3 now becomes Battlemage and DG4 is now Druid. Yay? OK to be fair SemiAccurate thinks this laying out of code names will save a lot of speculation and leaks later on so it is a good thing, but if that is all you have to talk about, you probably should have stayed quiet for much longer.
There are a few questions that pop up though, name collisions, timing, performance, and volume. On the name collision side, theme copying aside, calling a chip Arc is …meh…, just ask Synopsys who has a line of CPUs called, wait for it, Arc. Intel should be aware of this as they used those cores for years in their first gen vPro CPUs before switching to x86 in later generations. Intel didn’t do the obvious and called their 5nm process 20A instead of A20 because they were ostensibly afraid of legal issues, Arc makes us rethink the veracity of those statements. Either way this naming snafu won’t help.
Then comes the timing, Q1/22, not far away. That said the most recent roadmaps had DG2 coming out in November which is not Q1/22. Yup another slip but a minor one in light of the last few. Which last few? Well DG2 was supposed to be the lead chip on TSMC’s 6nm process, you know the one before 5nm and 5+ and the upcoming likely pre-DG2 3nm. We will let you work out the dates for yourself but an ~3 month delay at this point is a rounding error.
That brings us to volume and performance.
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Disclosures: Charlie Demerjian and Stone Arch Networking Services, Inc. have no consulting relationships, investment relationships, or hold any investment positions with any of the companies mentioned in this report.