Gelsinger kicks off IDF Shanghai with Larrabee

Written by Tim Smalley

April 2, 2008 // 3:42 a.m.

Tags: #computing #events #gelsinger #idf #idf-spring-2008 #larrabee #pat #shanghai #visual

Pat Gelsinger has kicked off IDF Shanghai by revealing some new details on its Larrabee project.

Gelsigner claimed that “today’s graphics architectures are coming to an end – it’s no longer scalable for the needs of the future.

The graphics pipeline is too inefficient for the next-generation workloads that will be created and used.

He said that the industry needs a programmable, ubiquitous and unified architecture and he believes that Larrabee delivers on that front.

Gelsinger said that he’s seeing a trend emerging, where ray-tracing is moving from the high-end into the mainstream and he believes ray-tracing will make an appearance in mainstream graphics programs.

Larrabee uses a very short pipeline that delivers “teraFLOPS of performance on a single die.” It features over 100 new instructions and massive amounts of bandwidth—both to on-die cache and to local memory.

Gelsinger said in the 30 years he’s been in this industry, he’s never seen so much excitement around a project that Intel has worked on. “[There is] stunning excitement from ISVs for Larrabee,” he said.

It’s an exciting product for enthusiasts and hardcore gamers as well, as it could help to move the industry on step closer to photo realistic gaming. And later this year, we’re set to get closer to that mark with the release of FarCry 2 – Gelsinger showed some footage from the title, which is set to be released later this year. Quite simply, it looks amazing – the benchmark at the moment is of course Crysis and FarCry 2 has a good chance of breaking the boundaries set by Crytek.

Gelsinger also showed off Quake 4 RT again, and hailed ray tracing as a way for artists to focus on content creation again – once Larrabee arrives, Gelsinger believes that artists will no longer have to worry about limitations. That’s something we’ll have to wait and find out if it holds true, as ray tracing has had its sceptics in the industry. Of course, that’s not to say there aren’t uses – it’ll be an extra tool in the game developer’s armoury.

We’ll be looking to get more information on Larrabee over the course of the next couple of days and you’ll hear more as soon as we do. For now, you can discuss these developments in the forums.

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