Intel, Synopsys set for trademark battle

August 17, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Intel, Synopsys set for trademark battle
Intel has renamed its discrete graphics processor line as Arc, a brand registered by Synopsys for its embedded processor technology

Intel has appeared to register the name Arc as a trademark for its discrete graphics chip, putting it on a collision course with Synopsys which owns the registered trademark.

The ARC processor started life as the Argonaut RISC Core developed in the UK by ARC International. The company was acquired by Virage Logic in 2009 and Virage was bought by Synopsys in 2010 and the ARC core is the heart of a line of embedded configurable processor IP blocks.

Intel’s Arc brand will cover hardware, software and services, and will span multiple hardware generations from the desktop to the datacentre and supercomputer, says Roger Chandler, Intel vice president and general manager of Client Graphics Products and Solutions.

However the use of the word for a graphics processor is likely to be too close to a CPU.

Since the return of Pat Gelsinger to Intel earlier this year, the company has been changing its branding, in both products and process technology.

The first generation discrete GPU, now code-named Alchemist and formerly known as DG2, will be based on Intel’s graphics microarchitecture branded as Xe and is aimed at high end gaming cards to tak eon Nvidia and AMD’s Radeon GPU. The Alchemist GPU will support hardware-based ray tracing and artificial intelligence-driven super sampling, and offer full support for DirectX 12 Ultimate.

The DG1 chip was a discrete graphics chip using the integrated graphics unit design from an x86 processor, and mostly sold in China.

Intel says the Alchemist chip, initially planned for 7nm process at TSMC, will be available in the first quarter of 2022 after a launch at the Consume Electronics Show, with more details later in the year.

Intel also revealed the code names of future generations under the Arc brand: Battlemage, Celestial and Druid.

The Xe HPG microarchitecture is a combination of the Xe LP, HP and HPC microarchitectures. The data centre version was codenamed Ponte

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