Intel Larrabee to come back from the dead, eventually

By on March 18, 2010, 2:26 PM
Intel spent quite some time talking up its Larrabee graphics processor ever since it officially announced the x86-derived chip in 2008. In theory it sounded like a real threat to both Nvidia and ATI, but after facing several delays and complications, plans to market a consumer version of Larrabee were indefinitely put on hold last December.

The reason cited for the program stoppage was that the silicon and software development for the chip had not met Intel expectations and the fear was Larrabee would not be able to compete with ATI and Nvidia offerings. Now, however, the folks at TechEye have reportedly heard from a "key member" of the team at Intel that a whole product plan and roadmap is still in place for Larrabee.

Apparently there's some development being done, with many of the people originally hired for the project still hovering around waiting for Larrabee to come online again. Last we heard, Intel planned to release Larrabee sometime this year as a software development platform for both graphic and high performance computing. If the anonymous sources are indeed right, we would probably still have to wait for an improved second-gen design before a Larrabee GPU arrives. That could be a while, but we know Intel won't just drop its plans to get a piece of the discrete graphics market that easy.




User Comments: 14

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Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I wonder if AMD's announcement of the Fusion timeline has something to do with Intel reviving this project?

levar said:

heh... its just not to drop its plans and get a piece of the discrete graphics market that easy. There's also Intel it needs to keep up with and oh! those people that where hired for the project thats more jobs which is good. I hope "the anonymous sources" are indeed right indeed

ansarimikail said:

Competition with CUDA isnt it. The more competition the better.

Richy2k9 said:

great, now a zombie GFX Chip that will eat our cash out & make us dream our life of owning a decent gaming rig ... yes bring it on & let the war begin!

cheers!

mystic420 said:

I myself have always been a Nvidia fan, But I would be willing to see what they have. Besides a little competition is good for the consumer... Lower prices and better hardware!!!

tonylukac said:

Development title sounds like an Easter article--rising from the dead.

Timonius Timonius said:

I'm still thinking that the CPU/GPU integration technology is too young. It maybe great for laptops and budget pcs but until it can really compete with a top of the line graphics card I won't bother with them.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I wonder if AMD's announcement of the Fusion timeline has something to do with Intel reviving this project?

They never killed the project; I suspect it wasn't any major hardware related issue when the delayed it; it was more of a software issue, as the development in the later was way behind the schedule. So, it is ought to be back sooner or later, although, I would prefer sooner, a 3 way competition is much better scenario for consumers and should speed up the technological advancements in this area while perhaps pricing being bit more competitive, provided Intel is able to follow its tick-tock (or something similar) model in this arena as well.

Yoda8232 said:

Intel should go into making GPU's it would be good for them, and great for the consumers (more competition = lower prices for us) even if the video cards suck or even appeal to a certain market like VIA's cards.

Personally I'd have no problem having a Intel GPU if there was a high performance GPU from them in the future for a good price.

fref said:

Good news! I had high hopes for Larabee and was very disappointed when I read that it was getting cancelled. Whatever they're doing with it now, I wish it works out fine this time. Competition is always good.

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yoda8232 said:

Intel should go into making GPU's it would be good for them, and great for the consumers (more competition = lower prices for us) even if the video cards suck or even appeal to a certain market like VIA's cards.

Personally I'd have no problem having a Intel GPU if there was a high performance GPU from them in the future for a good price.

I think the real advantage will be to people buying systems with integrated video chips. Their performance is still pretty dismal at the moment. Even increasing their performance up to a low-mid end dedicated video card would be a huge step.

rskapadia2294 said:

hey it is a great news! it will also increase the sales as intel will offer it integrated!

atleast ppl who cant afford a dedicated GPU will surely buy it!

good!

Puiu Puiu said:

The market really needs another major player. Just 2 isn't helping and the prices are now higher than ever.

Guest said:

the reason given is pure bullshit. It was NOT a problem with the silicon it was a software problem. More specifically having to do with task scheduling various workloads. Intel demonstrated a 1 TFLOP system at a recent supercomputer conference in Portland in 2009. The hardware was good. This is NOT good news for NVidia and ATI because software problems can and will be fixed eventually. The hardware of course will need to be updated to keep up with NVidia and ATI's latest but this is another spin of silicon, perhaps a die shrink and game over.

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