Next month heralds the 2008 Spring Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai, China. Pre-show briefings opened up with a quick mention on the status of Larrabee, Intel's upcoming graphics core.
Larrabee differs significantly from AMD's Radeon and NVIDIA's GeForce processors. For starters, Larrabee is based on the x86 instruction set found in CPU architecture. Intel vice president Steve Smith emphasized that Larrabee is not just a GPU, but a multi-core die capable of any stream processing task.
Intel’s hybrid CPU and GPU chips are set to be released in
two flavors, both of which will be based on the Nehalem CPU architecture. The first
version, dubbed Havendale, will be a desktop chip, while the second version,
dubbed Auburndale, will be a notebook chip.
Auburndale and Havendale will have two Nehalem cores paired with a graphics subsystem. The twin cores will share 4MB of L2 cache and feature an integrated dual-channel memory controller that supports memory
configurations up to DDR3-1333.
The graphics subsystem will be initially
derived from Intel’s G45 integrated graphics. This indicates that neither
Auburndale nor Havendale will be for heavy graphics processing, but will be
more of an integrated graphics replacement.
quote: In fact, both graphics cores leave out support for key features of DirectX 9 and DirectX 10.
quote: It's working for AMD! ;)
quote: In the meantime, Smith promises the discrete Larrabee offerings will compete competitively with Radeon and GeForce offerings when its finally announced.
quote: Likely, CPU integration of Larrabee will not come until the 32nm shrink of Nehalem, codenamed Gesher, if ever.
quote: The first version, dubbed Havendale, will be a desktop chip, while the second version, dubbed Auburntown, will be a notebook chip.
quote: Smith said Larrabee samples will be ready in Q4 2008, with shipments in 2009, though the initial launch appears to be only for discrete computing.