bit-tech.net

Intel Larrabee Cancelled

Intel Larrabee Cancelled

Our forum users were quick to tease Intel...

Despite the fact working samples had already been shown, that Intel executives had continually promised it would change everything, and that it was planned for release in 2010, the Intel board of directors has decided to shelve Larrabee, its consumer graphics chip. Instead Larrabee will now be made available as a software development platform: Larrabee New Instructions (LRBni).

CNet obtained a quote by Intel spokesman, Nick Knupffer, who late on Friday said that;

"Larrabee silicon and software development are behind where we hoped to be at this point in the project. As a result, our first Larrabee product will not be launched as a standalone discrete graphics product."

It maybe more than a decade since the last Intel discrete graphics card was available - the i740 - but we'll have to wait a little longer for the reintroduction of Intel graphics, despite the billions of dollars already sunk into the project by Intel.

Lacklustre appreciation of the live demo at San Francisco IDF 2009, combined with an epic die size and multiple delays have all taken its toll on the project.

Over the weekend, Tim Sweeney, the author of the extremely popular Unreal Engine, who has long been an advocate of the Intel Larrabee project, has piped up to comment as well:

"I see the instruction set and mixed scalar/vector programming model of Larrabee as the ultimate computing model, delivering GPU-class numeric computing performance and CPU-class programmability with an easy-to-use programming model that will ultimately crush fixed-function graphics pipelines. The model will be revolutionary whether it's sold as a [PCI] Express add-in card, an integrated graphics solution, or part of the CPU die.

[...]Today's GPU programming models are too limited to support large-scale software, such as a complete physics engine, or a next-generation graphics pipeline implemented in software. No quantity of TeraFLOPs can compensate for a lack of support for dynamic dispatch, a full C++programming model, a coherent memory space, etc.
"

We should point out that at the moment, Intel has only confirmed that the consumer part has been shelved, meaning that the HPC/GPGPU server/workstation design is still in progress, to be released somewhere down the line. Intel Senior Fellow and CTO, Justin Rattner, recently showed Larrabee could crack the 1TeraFLOP mark at SC09 using a standard HPC benchmark (SGEMM 4Kx4K calculation). Compare this to ATI's Radeon HD 5870, which hits only 544GigaFLOPS, and Larrabee is clearly a HPC monster. That said, the Radeon has been available for nearly two months already. Nvidia claims its forthcoming Fermi chip is capable of between 900GFLOPs to 1.2TFLOPs, although no actual benchmarks have yet been shown.

Is Intel's entire Larrabee project destined for complete failure? Are you unhappy that we won't have a third player in the graphic market? Or is for this news to be welcomed, the better to protect your beloved ATI/Nvidia from the big brute that is Intel? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

21 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
impar 7th December 2009, 10:20 Quote
Greetings!

There is already a thread about this:
http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=179314
GoodBytes 7th December 2009, 12:02 Quote
Oh no! what would we will ever do without Intel latest """"GPU""" ?!
azrael- 7th December 2009, 12:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
Oh no! what would we will ever do without Intel latest """"GPU""" ?!
Buy nVidia crap (i.e. their latest rebrand)?

I, for one, think this is sad news. I'd hoped for Intel to come through with their Larrabee project. I still hope they will, somewhere down the line.
Landy_Ed 7th December 2009, 12:40 Quote
Why would intel continue to throw good money after bad? I'd say from this that they are hanging back to see how OpenCL pans out, and will chinese-wall some of the resultant technology a year or so down the line. Despite all the slatings, it looks to me like nVidia are the ones that are pushing the boundaries right now, "rebrands" notwithstanding.
Autti 7th December 2009, 12:54 Quote
Love the photo pic for the article.

Well it looks like Intel would now have even more motive to buy Nvidia if the opportunity arose, GTX400 at 32nm would be nice.
kylew 7th December 2009, 13:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landy_Ed
Why would intel continue to throw good money after bad? I'd say from this that they are hanging back to see how OpenCL pans out, and will chinese-wall some of the resultant technology a year or so down the line. Despite all the slatings, it looks to me like nVidia are the ones that are pushing the boundaries right now, "rebrands" notwithstanding.

nVidia are pushing the boundaries?

Hardly, rebranding is their biggest "thing" currently.

Other than that, they're not really doing anything.

Foni hardly counts considering it's looking like they're having a really hard time with it.
mjm25 7th December 2009, 15:37 Quote
There's some pretty forceful nVidia hate already! why i'm not a massive fan of the company in regards to their methods in can't be denied they have made some pretty influential and market driving products which is why they are able to rebrand in the first place. I'm excited to see what Fermi really turns out to be, as it could be one of those rare tech moments where your jaw really does hit the floor.

i think this is also a degree of what's going on at intel; why release an underperforming flagship product? all they need to do is wait it out, learn something off the back of the server/workstation chip and iterate it until its something enthusiasts want.

Tim Sweeney is one of the guys you can't ignore too, so unless Intel bunged him some epic cash he's probably got a point (although i won't pretend to having a valid opinion on what he said).
zimbloggy 7th December 2009, 16:17 Quote
The title of the article is a little misleading - only the consumer hardware aspect of it is going away. Of course, I am not too happy about intel making some more integrated graphics chips and then telling the poor consumers that it's "just as good" as discrete graphics cough*945G*cough.
Turbotab 7th December 2009, 16:36 Quote
That is my demotivational in the article header!!, I'm almost e-famous. Where is my cheque, in the post?, Bit-Tech is worse than Google, milking the hardwork of others:p, I almost agree with Rupert Murdoch:p:)
GoodBytes 7th December 2009, 19:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
Buy nVidia crap (i.e. their latest rebrand)?

I, for one, think this is sad news. I'd hoped for Intel to come through with their Larrabee project. I still hope they will, somewhere down the line.

I am sorry but Nvidia doesn't simply re brand.. every newer GPU has new features and optimizations.. if you choose to ignore them, then it's not my problem.

The only thing Intel is good at is their x86 architecture CPU's.. no other CPU, or other product. And at least with Nvid aand ATI, you are assured that any software that require a GPU, will run and not crash because it's not part of Intel, now hidden, software compatibility list. Because when Intel makes drivers, it's not for a universal purpose but rather per applications basis.
HourBeforeDawn 7th December 2009, 19:45 Quote
part of me, small part mind you is actually kind bummed out that they are pulling out (for now), like others have said, they are probably going to do the Intel thing and wait for some other company to do what they are doing and then copy it.
frontline 7th December 2009, 22:05 Quote
Always seemed a bit too ambitious, at least in the short term. Hopefully they will concentrate on improving their integrated graphics offerings, bearing in mind that a large proportion of PC's sold include them.
ZERO <ibis> 8th December 2009, 02:40 Quote
I wonder if this means they will be open to opening backup there chipsets to allow other gpu makers to come in...
bridgesentry 8th December 2009, 02:55 Quote
Intel Larrabee: overkill for office apps but too slow for AAA games.
I think their canceling is a good move:D
Larrabee's future is still behind the fog and the dark now.:)
I don't hate it (I'm fan of Intel), but can't imagine how people could get around with it without any fear:o
Elton 8th December 2009, 04:28 Quote
If there was one thing that impressed me it would've been the potential for real time ray-tracing.

Oh well, we still got Lucid to look forward to.
[PUNK] crompers 8th December 2009, 11:29 Quote
surprise surprise! maybe intel should have kept their mouths shut and developed the chip before making some of the claims it has been coming out with
cheeriokilla 8th December 2009, 13:54 Quote
I'm also voting for Nvidia. I was an ATI boy last year with my 4870X2 but what ATI is doing right now, I find disturbing, they have the whole market for themselves and are pricing their cards in a non-rational way.

GO NVIDIA!
hrtz_Junkie 8th December 2009, 14:46 Quote
It's allways a shame when a new product fail's to appear. More compition is "Allways" good for the consumer as it encourages other company's to step up or loose out.

Take the hole Ati/nvidea situation. Because ati/amd has upped the bar with it's last two gen's (4890 & 5890) this has caused Nvidea to focus!!

Nvidea know's it's loosing popularity, so my gess is taking it's time perfect fermi and make it something "awsome"

Nvidea know's damn well this card need's to be something special or the 5870's will become the high end gpu off choice. (wich up to know has been the gtx 280/285. depite what cpc may have led you to beleive!)
mjm25 8th December 2009, 18:30 Quote
hrtz_junkie please tell me English is not your first language. if not then you actually did pretty well haha :)
PandaMonster 19th December 2009, 17:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeriokilla
I'm also voting for Nvidia. I was an ATI boy last year with my 4870X2 but what ATI is doing right now, I find disturbing, they have the whole market for themselves and are pricing their cards in a non-rational way.

GO NVIDIA!
....

Their TOP TIER card is $600. Nvidia is the one who roams freely at $700+ GPU's. Like the GTX 295 which was $700. I'm sure the price is lowered now, but this is the first time ATI hit a price that high. And guess what, it's STILL lower than what nvidia charges for their top tier cards, and it's STILL faster.
Elton 20th December 2009, 08:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PandaMonster
....
but this is the first time ATI hit a price that high.

PFFFT.

Are you kidding me? Were you around during the creation of the X1900XTX and the X1800XTX? Those things cost an arm and a leg, they did pretty much wreck the G70, although it was interesting to see the role of uber-chip maker reverse and be handed down to Nvidia after ATi's reign with the RV400 and the RV500.

At any rate, I don't find ATi pushing up the prices too distressing it's expected especially if the competition has no answer.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums