Intel delays Larrabee graphics processor indefinitely

By on December 7, 2009, 10:20 AM
It looks like Nvidia and AMD won't have to deal with Intel in the discrete graphics market anytime soon after all. According to company spokesman Nick Knupffer, the chip giant has indefinitely delayed plans to market a consumer version of Larrabee, opting instead to release it as a software development platform for both graphic and high performance computing.

Intel originally planned to launch the chip in 2008. Multiple delays forced them to push those plans until "sometime in 2010," but apparently the company has fallen behind where it hoped to be in silicon and software development at this point, and don't believe their product would be suitably competitive with Nvidia and AMD's alternatives by the time of release. The idea behind Larrabee was to offer graphics and parallel processing with the full programmability of an x86 CPU, using a many-core architecture based on the original Pentium design.

The announcement came as a bit of a surprise considering the company had been working on the project for the last two and a half years. It also showed off a system based on Larrabee just three months ago at IDF.

User Comments: 11

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fref said:

This is some really bad news! I was really looking forward to seeing some new competition for nVidia and ATI. I can't believe that with all the resources Intel has, they're just abandoning this. Too bad!

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Wow, I was hoping for a third in the competition as well. I guess they took a look at the latest ATI boards and decided that theirs couldn't stack up. Wonder exactly what they mean by Software Development Platform? Will this make it easier for people to take advantage of ATI or Nvidias GPUs for general purpose computing?

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

They probably just couldn't get the raw graphics power benchmarks to compare with what the video giants are marketing right now... The Larrabee was going to throw cpu-based horsepower at the graphics to make them fly, but I think Intel found out that those specialized graphics processors just do it better.

Their development platform should be interesting, though. I vaguely remember hearing about it elsewhere, and I believe it's tailored towards making parallel processing more accessible and efficient. Could be wrong though, my brain RAM isn't what it used to be.

UglyChild said:

I'll bet they have something else in the works as we speak.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@UglyChild - I think you are right... Intel always has something in the works. My guess is they are concentrating more on keeping at least 1 step ahead of AMD on the CPU side, and putting more effort into the integrated CPU/GPU platforms (as in the mobile and low powered units). As the big video giants keep drawing more and more power as they go, the Intel stuff moves the opposite direction to be more and more power efficient. Might also be why Larrabee was killed off, perhaps it was just too power hungry?

frickfrock99 said:

It's possible, unlike the $1000 processor for i7 they have out now.

Puiu Puiu said:

Since AMD's 5xxx series is 2-3 time more powerful than what intel said about larrabee (5870=2.7tflops - larrabee=~1tflop) it was inevitable that they wold delay it. Even if it came out they wouldn't be able to sell it.

I'm pretty sure they won't be able to make a GPU that is capable of competing with amd and nvidia anytime soon.

vangrat said:

I have a feeling there may have been some push by AMD and Nvidia towards Intel as well to have this particular line of production be stopped. It is also possible this was also a game of pushing AMD and Nvidia for corporate gain...I would be interested in knowing what happened in the background that we are not seeing...

levar said:

Intel has always been ahead of AMD though AMD has nothing to worry about.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I guess they might have realized it is way too expensive for todays technology and wouldn't get into direct competition with Nvidia or AMDs GPUs, because of the price they would always be a step back.

Although, these are just especulations.

lfg18 said:

They are just probably scared of what AMD has done with their latest generation of graphics cards, I know they have no competitor in the procesor market, at least in the high end, but they are not that good in the graphics processor market, anyway it would be good if they realease ther product, more competitors mean lower prices

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