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Intel Discusses GPU, Hybrid CPUs
Processors & Memory
Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 18 March 2008 12:12
Intel looks to get into the graphics market in 2009, and in a big way
Gabriel Ikram & Kristopher Kubicki - March 17, 2008 4:55 PM

Next month heralds the 2008 Spring Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai, China. Pre-show briefings opened up with a quick mention on the status of Larrabee, Intel's upcoming graphics core.

Larrabee differs significantly from AMD's Radeon and NVIDIA's GeForce processors. For starters, Larrabee is based on the x86 instruction set found in CPU architecture. Intel vice president Steve Smith emphasized that Larrabee is not just a GPU, but a multi-core die capable of any stream processing task.
Smith would not detail exactly how many cores reside on Larrabee, though early schematics from 2006 detail designs with 16 cores. Each in-order core is capable of operating in excess of 2 GHz.

Larrabee can apparently scale to several thousand cores, sharing much of the same research as Intel's Tera-scale project. In addition to the x86 approach, the company announced it will soon announce another SSE-like extension set, dubbed Advanced Vector Extensions. These extensions will likely be what separates Larrabee's x86 instruction set from the x86 instructions featured on Core 2 Duo and Phenom. Smith said Larrabee will support OpenGL, DirectX and ray-tracing instructions.

However, to much disappointment, Larrabee will not find a home on 45nm Nehalem processors, scheduled for an early 2009 launch. Smith said Larrabee samples will be ready in Q4 2008, with shipments in 2009, though the initial launch appears to be only for discrete computing.   [DailyTech]   [Comments...]

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