Tech

Intel embarks on graphics cards in the midst of a shortage

Intel no longer wants to limit itself to the production of processors. The Californian firm has just announced its intention to enter the graphics card market. Battery during a historic semiconductor shortage.

You may have heard of the semiconductor shortage that has crippled the new technology market for months now. Obviously, this doesn’t seem to be too much of a concern to Intel, which has just announced a slew of in-house graphics cards that will hit the market in the coming months and years.

Intel ARC takes on AMD and Nvidia

Wanting to compete with Nvidia and AMD, the processor giant will therefore diversify by offering GPUs that will bear the sweet name of Intel Arc. This is not the first time that the Californian company has offered graphics components to accompany its processors, but this time it seems to be taking the matter seriously since it shows clips from games such as Forza, PUBG or Subnautica that are running. honorably on Intel graphics cards. Four generations of cards are already in the pipeline with the first scheduled for early 2022.

If the arrival of a new competitor in the graphics card market is rather a good thing, the timing of this announcement questions. In the midst of a shortage, it is difficult to see how Intel could succeed in producing enough graphics cards to properly occupy the market, when its direct competitors are struggling. Even if the first card will arrive in 6 months, the production lines must already heat up. Moreover, it is not guaranteed that the shortage will be over by 2022.

The temptation of Bitcoin

The other unknown is the confidence gamers can have in Intel hardware. Unlike Nvidia or AMD which are names we can count on today, Intel has everything to prove. Tech demos look awesome, but without real measurement tools and without hindsight, it’s hard to jump into Intel boards blindly.

Intel Arc graphics cards, artist's view
The first Intel graphics cards will be available in the first quarter of 2022 // Source: Intel

Where Intel may have a card to play, however, is on the cryptocurrency side. With the shortage affecting AMD and Nvidia, it is possible that Bitcoin miners will be flocking to Intel cards to boost their returns. They are already the ones who are currently drying up the graphics card market and as long as Intel does not limit mining on its future components, the firm could sell its stocks quite easily.

Still, if Intel wants to influence the high-end graphics card sector, the company will have to build a reputation. And in a time when even getting a graphics card is a feat, it probably won’t be easy.

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