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Why are Intel GPUs called Arc?

Intel has finally revealed a wealth of details about the first wave of graphics cards to run on its Xe architecture, chief of which is their name: Intel Arc.

But, with the firm traditionally having used much more utilitarian names, like Core i3 or Intel 7, you may be wondering why it settled on such a specific name for its first line of graphics cards.

Here to help we got the inside scoop from Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG), Raja Koduri during a video presentation at the firm’s 2021 Architecture Day.

Why Arc?

During the event Koduri explained the decision to name the firm’s first line of graphics cards Arc as being a descriptive part of a wider journey being taken by Intel over the next few years.

“Today, game makers are making leading edge, real world realistic experiences […] Publishers, developers and gamers are pushing the boundaries of what is possible, demanding more from their hardware and software,” he said.

“The vast choice of what to buy and flexibility to build on pc and modify it to deliver [these experiences]. These are the reasons the PC has been so popular since the beginning. 1.5 billion people are PC gamers because of this. Our focus today is to develop a better experience for gamers.

“To create a great experience across all form factors, to remove barriers we unveiled Arc […] The word Arc is specially chosen. It’s [descriptive]. We chose it to describe the narrative we are following […] Every game and creator has a story, an arc it follows. Arc is the next chapter of our story.”

Arc was unveiled earlier this week ahead of the firm’s Architecture Day, where it also revealed fresh details about its Alder Lake CPU architecture and XeSS tech.

XeSS is Intel’s rival to Nvidia DLSS and AMD FSR. It aims to help improve frame rates when running demanding processes, like gaming.

Little is known about the new Arc cards specific specs. The only details we have is that they will launch with XeSS and ray tracing graphics support. There are currently three confirmed cards codenamed Battlemage, Celestial and Druid. Intel declined Trusted Reviews’ request for further information on their thermals, clock speeds and general performance promising to give more details “in the near future”.

When will we learn more?

We’re expecting Intel to make good on its promise to reveal more details about the specific Arc cards at its Intel Innovation event. The event will run from 27-28 October and feature a series of technical keynotes from Intel executives and engineers. Trusted Reviews will be on hand to cover all the event’s big announcements so make sure to check back with us then.

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