Santa Clara (CA) - Intel is partnering with another big name to create credibility for its upcoming visual computing technology consisting of Nehalem processors and Larrabee accelerator units. DreamWorks will use Larrabee to create its first stereoscopic 3D film called Monsters vs. Aliens, which is slated for a March 2009 release.
Intel said that it will provide DreamWorks with "the latest high-performance processing technologies, including future chips with multiple processing cores" to "meet the increased demands of creating 3-D animated feature films." Intel spokesman Nick Knupffer told us that the "future chips" note refers to Nehalem CPUs as well Larrabee GPUs, an upcoming multi-core graphics and floating point accelerator architecture. First Nehalem chips are planned to be released in late 2008; Larrabee is expected to be introduced in the second half of 2009.
DreamWorks so far has been a strong supporter of AMD and heavily pitched its partnership with AMD following the production of Shrek 3 and the introduction of the Opteron quad-core processor with Barcelona core. Intel now claims that DreamWorks is "converting its computing infrastructure to an Intel-based system", which could be considered a major blow to AMD and a big credibility and marketing statement for Intel’s new technology.
"Our objective is to significantly heighten the movie going experience using DreamWorks Animation’s ground-breaking 3-D filmmaking tools," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, in a prepared statement. "Technology plays a significant role in enabling our artists to tell great stories. By utilizing Intel’s industry-leading computing products, we will create a new and innovative way for moviegoers to experience our films in 3-D."
Intel said that it will also develop and promote next-generation 3-D viewing experiences and technology on a range of other platforms, including home theater, personal computers, video games, online environments and mobile devices.
Sounds to us like another try for Intel to get its foot into the door of Hollywood. The Viiv entertainment platform has been dropped and Clickstar, Intel’s movie distribution joint-venture with Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman, never got its feet off the ground. This time, however, it seems that Intel is not trying to become a sparkling member of the red carpet, but focuses on what it does best: Hardware.