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Intel Kills Off Larrabee Discrete Graphics, For Real

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 32 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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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    Pei-chen , May 26, 2010 5:08 PM
    LArrabee don't have to be GTX480 or 5870 fighter. A 5770 level video card with decent price + driver would still be welcomed in the market.
  • 16 Hide
    micr0be , May 26, 2010 5:27 PM
    just another Duke Nukem Forever
  • 12 Hide
    ta152h , May 26, 2010 5:27 PM
    It's always good when the plague known as x86 doesn't encroach on any new areas. Why Intel thought an instruction set considered poor 32 years ago, made sense for a modern GPU escaped a lot of people, considering compatibility wouldn't be such an important consideration there.

    They'd be better off going with a clean, efficient instruction set if they ever try to get into that market again. How could they expect to compete with well-established players with that handicap?

    I still don't know exactly what "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" means. Processor graphics means the IGP that comes with the processor now? The other stuff also means that, even though discrete cards do that too? That's got to be it, but it's not too clear, really.
Other Comments
    Display all 32 comments.
  • 21 Hide
    Pei-chen , May 26, 2010 5:08 PM
    LArrabee don't have to be GTX480 or 5870 fighter. A 5770 level video card with decent price + driver would still be welcomed in the market.
  • 5 Hide
    nforce4max , May 26, 2010 5:11 PM
    Good riddance, they could have at the least put out something even if it SUCKED that was fair priced would have been better than this. I still got a i740 agp and would have been nice to have added another discrete Intel gpu to my collection. 12 years and nothing new.
  • 1 Hide
    HalJordan , May 26, 2010 5:12 PM
    I really thought it was officially dead months ago...I was not aware that Intel considered it "shelved." I suppose this announcement equates to putting a bullet into the head of a wounded animal, lying on the ground, howling in pain, and yearning for a quick death. I never really had high hopes for Larrabee; the idea was a pipe dream at best, and smacked of insanity at worst. Competing with likes of ATI and Nvidia in the GPU market is just not feasible, unless Intel bought out a ton of talent from their competitors. Apparently, Intel did wise up and is sticking with dominating the processor market.
  • 11 Hide
    jerreece , May 26, 2010 5:19 PM
    Quote:
    in our 2011 Intel Core processor family, code-named Sandy Bridge


    LOL Does that mean the bottom falls out? Not an inspiring code name. ;) 
  • 16 Hide
    micr0be , May 26, 2010 5:27 PM
    just another Duke Nukem Forever
  • 12 Hide
    ta152h , May 26, 2010 5:27 PM
    It's always good when the plague known as x86 doesn't encroach on any new areas. Why Intel thought an instruction set considered poor 32 years ago, made sense for a modern GPU escaped a lot of people, considering compatibility wouldn't be such an important consideration there.

    They'd be better off going with a clean, efficient instruction set if they ever try to get into that market again. How could they expect to compete with well-established players with that handicap?

    I still don't know exactly what "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" means. Processor graphics means the IGP that comes with the processor now? The other stuff also means that, even though discrete cards do that too? That's got to be it, but it's not too clear, really.
  • 0 Hide
    bujuki , May 26, 2010 5:31 PM
    Does it mean that there will be no ray-tracing game in the near future? Quite sad if it's true, I really looked forward to see that and the day when programmer find more and more new rendering techniques (and of course read those in Tomshardware ^^).
  • 1 Hide
    jecastej , May 26, 2010 5:34 PM
    More competition please!, no less
  • 10 Hide
    invlem , May 26, 2010 6:00 PM
    Honestly they stuck graphics into a CPU that let's me play 1080p and bitstream TrueHD and DTS MA without the need for disrete graphics or a special sound card.

    I'm happy :)  larrabee or not
  • 1 Hide
    yrmoma , May 26, 2010 6:16 PM
    All I have to say is: HAHAHAHAHA. To Intel for talking all that smack before, and to all the people that were doing the same to nVidia and ATI.
  • 10 Hide
    tayb , May 26, 2010 6:22 PM
    Intel sucks at graphics. Intel GMA has been and looks like it will continue to be terrible. I had no expectations of Larrabee being anything spectacular but I was not expecting it to be such a colossal failure either.
  • -1 Hide
    LORD_ORION , May 26, 2010 6:31 PM
    That really blows...

    I wasn't looking for a gaming card, I was looking for a parallel task cruncher that worked the same way things work now.

    This leaves us with CUDA or OpenCL... which is the lesser of 2 evils? Proprietary format for Nvidia? Or "open" (I call preemptive BS) format by Apple.
  • -2 Hide
    danbfree , May 26, 2010 6:34 PM
    As a contractor for Intel testing Sandy Bridge, I can't say much at all but indeed Bill Kircos is not lying when he says integrated graphics will be even better with Sandy Bridge...
  • -1 Hide
    ravewulf , May 26, 2010 6:40 PM
    Saw it coming. Not surprised at all.

    Thus, Intel still sucks at graphics.
  • 3 Hide
    ravewulf , May 26, 2010 6:52 PM
    LORD_ORIONThat really blows...I wasn't looking for a gaming card, I was looking for a parallel task cruncher that worked the same way things work now.This leaves us with CUDA or OpenCL... which is the lesser of 2 evils? Proprietary format for Nvidia? Or "open" (I call preemptive BS) format by Apple.

    We have more than that.
    Nvidia has CUDA
    ATI has Stream
    They both have OpenCL and DirectCompute

    (wow, just realized OpenGL v Direct3D, and now OpenCL v DirectCompute. Déjà vu)
  • 0 Hide
    NuclearShadow , May 26, 2010 6:59 PM
    I was hoping that Intel could at least provide low-mid level performance and release such. Competition is always a good thing for the consumer and we could have expected Nvidia and ATI to respond with lower prices or more bang for the buck performance. This would have been beneficial to everyone even those who wouldn't have bought Intel's product.
  • 0 Hide
    Niva , May 26, 2010 7:05 PM
    nVidia's boss just jizzed his pants upon reading these news. Hopefully those two companies can go back to playing nice now.
  • 8 Hide
    thepinkpanther , May 26, 2010 7:11 PM
    Cant wait for the Nvidia cartoons
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 26, 2010 7:18 PM
    This makes sense with PC gaming kind of fledging and the real need for it covered by ATI and Nvidia. I think Intel just realized that this market did not need a third wheel.
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