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What is Intel® Processor Graphics?

, 4 Sep 2014 CPOL 3.9K 2
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Newly published – the detailed Compute Architecture of Intel® Processor Graphics Gen8, with information on the Intel® HD Graphics 5300. Available as well is the Intel® Processor Graphics Developer’s Guide for 4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Graphics.

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What is Intel® Processor Graphics?

Intel® Processor Graphics refers to the technology that provides graphics, compute, media, and display capability for many of Intel’s processors, such as the 4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor family of products. Within Intel, architects colloquially refer to Intel® Processor Graphics architecture as simply “Gen”, short for Generation. A specific generation of the Intel® Processor Graphics architecture may be referred to as “Gen6” for generation 6, or “Gen7” for generation 7, etc. The branded products Intel® HD Graphics 4600, Intel® Iris™ Graphics 5100, and Intel® Iris™ Pro Graphics 5200 are all derived from instances of Intel® Processor Graphics Gen7.5 architecture. Similarly Intel® HD Graphics 5300 derives from Intel® Processor Graphics Gen8.

To learn more about specific Intel® Processor Graphics Technology based products, please see:

Architecture of Intel® Processor Graphics

This whitepaper details the Compute Architecture of Intel® Processor Graphics. It is foundational reading for developers that seek to optimize compute applications on Intel® Processor Graphics or engineers that seek to understand the mechanics and performance of Intel® Processor Graphics.

Developer Guides for Intel® Processor Graphics

Intel® Processor Graphics Developer's Guide for 4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Graphics by Paul Lindberg
This guide was created to assist developers in maximizing application performance on new Intel® graphics technologies, primarily focused on the new 4th generation Intel® microarchitecture (codenamed Haswell). The 2nd generation Intel microarchitecture (codenamed Sandy Bridge) was the first to have the graphics processor on the same die as the CPU. The graphics capabilities, generally referred to as "Intel® processor graphics," has undergone numerous architectural changes that have significantly improved performance over previous generations. With the release of 4th generation Intel™ Core™ processors, developers have a new set of powerful graphics capabilities. This guide gives a high-level overview of the graphics hardware architecture and best practices for using DirectX* and OpenGL* on Intel processor graphics.

Download the latest Graphics Developer's Guide (published March 2014)

The latest Graphics Developer's Guide for 4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Graphics now includes OpenGL. Download the Intel Processor Graphics Developer's Guide for 4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Graphics. [PDF 1.17MB]

Previous Developer's Guides

For Developer’s Guides to generations of Intel graphics hardware prior to Ivy Bridge, go to:

Related Guides

To view the Media Developer's Guide, go to

Download Intel® HD Drivers for Intel® Processor Graphics

Go to the Support page to download the latest HD Graphics drivers, get FAQ answers and more:

Web Site and Engineering Support

Software developers can go to the forum at and post questions/comments about the complete line of Intel's graphics chipset solutions. If you are a game developer, many useful documents including everything from multithreading to audio, are available at Intel HD Graphics driver support page is here:


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Stephen Junkins is a principal engineer and architect for graphics and compute in Intel’s Visual & Parallel Computing Group. Stephen’s work has spanned GPU computing, GPU APIs, multi-resolution 3D meshes, interactive subdivision surface rendering, software rasterization, radiosity based global illumination, and parallel computing. Prior to Intel, Stephen worked for Siemens Medical Imaging and the Los Alamos National Labs. He holds over a dozen patents and BS and MS degrees in computer science from Clemson University

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