It has been rumored for the past five years, but a discrete GPU from Intel that can directly compete with Nvidia and ATI graphics chips has never come to realization. Since the early hints of Larrabee's existence
in 2006, Intel has remained tight lipped about the project which is being worked on separately from its current line of integrated graphics accelerators.
Now Intel is expected to unveil further details next August 12th at the SIGGRAPH conference, though we can already anticipate that we won't see any releases of the technology at least until next year or even 2010.
An Intel engineer said last week that they see Larrabee to be much more than just a GPU
. "The thing we need is an architecture that combines the full programmability of the CPU with the kinds of parallelism and other special capabilities of graphics processors. And that architecture is Larrabee." Besides consumer graphics and gaming, Intel is preparing to enter the high-performance computing market where GPU makers are currently using its graphics technology for stream processing.
Yet another interesting bit of information that the processor giant has disclosed so far is that Larrabee will be based on the original Pentium technology, then adding 64-bit instructions and multi-threading. The end result is that Larrabee will boast anything from 8 to 48 cores per chip, though the exact number has yet to be revealed, we wouldn't be surprised if they ship a variety of products with different counts depending on the market they are aiming for.