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Intel Kills Off Larrabee Discrete Graphics, For Real

By - Source: Tom's Hardware UK | B 5 comments

Intel gives an update on the graphics work going on at the chipmaker.

Intel's graphical part known as Larrabee never came to fruition. Last year we learned that Intel missed some key milestones in its plan for Larrabee and as a result it had to shelve the project. Intel's Bill Kircos wrote in a blog post an update on the company's graphics-related programs.

Kircos began with an overview of Intel's current graphics offerings, notably the Intel HD part that's paired with the Westmere processors now and the ability to send a wireless display signal to an external box hooked up to an HDTV.

"Intel's processor graphics will continue to be enhanced - with more surprises - in our 2011 Intel Core processor family, code-named Sandy Bridge," he added.

Kircos then ran through the three visual computing efforts that the company is still paying attention to: integrated processor graphics such as the Intel HD, smaller graphics for Atom and other System on Chip designs, and a many-core, programmable Intel architecture that Larrabee was set out to be.

Now for the updates on Intel's current work on graphics:

   1. Our top priority continues to be around delivering an outstanding processor that addresses every day, general purpose computer needs and provides leadership visual computing experiences via processor graphics. We are further boosting funding and employee expertise here, and continue to champion the rapid shift to mobile wireless computing and HD video - we are laser-focused on these areas.

   2. We are also executing on a business opportunity derived from the Larrabee program and Intel research in many-core chips. This server product line expansion is optimized for a broader range of highly parallel workloads in segments such as high performance computing. Intel VP Kirk Skaugen will provide an update on this next week at ISC 2010 in Germany.

   3. We will not bring a discrete graphics product to market, at least in the short-term. As we said in December, we missed some key product milestones. Upon further assessment, and as mentioned above, we are focused on processor graphics, and we believe media/HD video and mobile computing are the most important areas to focus on moving forward.

   4. We will also continue with ongoing Intel architecture-based graphics and HPC-related R&D and proof of concepts.

The takeaways from this list are:

  • Intel's IGPs will continue to get faster, with the next leap happening with Sandy Bridge.
  • Intel is applying some of its Larrabee work to the HPC sector.
  • There won't be a Larrabee graphics card that will compete against Nvidia or AMD/ATI parts any time soon.
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  • 3 Hide
    taiso , 27 May 2010 01:55
    in other words intel can only really compete in the processor arena, nothing more. if fusion can really bring 5770 performance to a combined processor/integrated gfx solution then intel can kiss the entry level to mid-level market goodbye.
  • 2 Hide
    Silmarunya , 27 May 2010 02:29
    taisoin other words intel can only really compete in the processor arena, nothing more. if fusion can really bring 5770 performance to a combined processor/integrated gfx solution then intel can kiss the entry level to mid-level market goodbye.


    AnandTech did a very thorough analysis of Intel's future GPU strategy (http://www.anandtech.com/show/3738/intel-kills-larrabee-gpu-will-not-bring-a-discrete-graphics-product-to-market). Both Intel and AMD are betting heavily on IGP's, up to a point were even high end gamers will use IGP's. Intel doesn't abandon GPU's, just discrete ones. Both AMD and Intel are working on high performance IGP's.

    In a not so distant future, discrete graphics cards might be like discrete sound cards. If you have high end surround systems they're worth it, but for a normal sound system in the sub 500 dollar price range, it's a marginal difference at best. The same thing might happen with GPU's.
  • 0 Hide
    taiso , 27 May 2010 03:44
    would be interesting if they ever reached that level. then the whole good speakers vs sound card argument would be translated to: good monitor vs discrete video cards. and maybe laptops will finally be able to be worth gaming in without draining your battery in just a couple hours. problem for intel is that as they stand now they have a lot of work to do if they want to catch up to what amd is aiming for, based on their igp track record so far...
  • Display all 5 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    david__t , 27 May 2010 19:45
    Graphics will never be integrated into the CPU for main stream games and especially not for hardcore enthusiasts because people will not want to tye themselves in to older technologies without the ability to upgrade a certain part of their subsystem. For example if you have a 980x now, that might last 3 Graphics card upgrade if it was overclocked in the future. With an integrated solution that simply isn't possible.
  • 0 Hide
    Tonkyboy , 28 May 2010 21:42
    david__tGraphics will never be integrated into the CPU for main stream games and especially not for hardcore enthusiasts because people will not want to tye themselves in to older technologies without the ability to upgrade a certain part of their subsystem. For example if you have a 980x now, that might last 3 Graphics card upgrade if it was overclocked in the future. With an integrated solution that simply isn't possible.


    I'm with you on that...