Intel has been publicly talking about Larrabee for two years now and we got to see the first live demonstration of working silicon during Sean Maloney's keynote. This was a day we had been waiting for ever since the first Larrabee details came to light, but we frankly came away sorely underwhelmed.
Maloney invited Bill Mark, a senior research scientist at Intel, onto the stage to show off Larrabee for the first time. He showed the a similar demo to the one I've seen for the past four or five years, only this time it ran incredibly poorly. It was the real-time ray traced Enemy Territory: Quake Wars demo shown at last year's conference.
To say that the demo looked nothing special would be an understatement. Not only was the frame rate poor - which became hugely apparent when aircraft flew across the scene - but the water looked like someone had an accident with a tub of KY Jelly.
Mark said that the water effect was achieved with just ten lines of shader code and, boy, that was pretty obvious to us. Yes, it was less complex in terms of code, but the result was something we would only have been happy with about five years ago. What made matters worse was the fact that Maloney said the system was also running a next-generation Gulftown CPU, which features six cores and 12 threads, and is expected to launch early next year. This wasn't the best way to show off your major new product launches for the first half of next year.