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Intel looks to get into the graphics market in 2009, and in a big way

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.

Smith would not detail exactly how many cores reside on Larrabee, though early schematics from 2006 detail designs with 16 cores.  Each in-order core is capable of operating in excess of 2 GHz.

Larrabee can apparently scale to several thousand cores, sharing much of the same research as Intel's Tera-scale project.  In addition to the x86 approach, the company announced it will soon announce another SSE-like extension set, dubbed Advanced Vector Extensions. These extensions will likely be what separates Larrabee's x86 instruction set from the x86 instructions featured on Core 2 Duo and Phenom.  Smith said Larrabee will support OpenGL, DirectX and ray-tracing instructions.

However, to much disappointment, Larrabee will not find a home on 45nm Nehalem processors, scheduled for an early 2009 launch. 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.

Likely a fully integrated CPU design will not come until the next architecture redesign of Nehalem, codenamed Sandy Bridge (previously Gesher).

An Intel engineer tells DailyTech, "You have to walk before you can run." Walking, at Intel, means discretely connecting a much simpler GPU into the processor first.

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.

According to Intel roadmaps, the new processors are expected to enter the market in the first half of 2009. This beats out the expected time of arrival of AMD’s Fusion processors, which are planned to debut in the second half of 2009.

In the meantime, Smith promises the discrete Larrabee offerings will compete competitively with Radeon and GeForce offerings when its finally announced.


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What about software ?
By crystal clear on 3/18/2008 8:35:51 AM , Rating: 1
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work the more of it I seem to have."


Thats exactly what Intel seems to believe in & the momemtum built upon with Core2 & 45nm technology is being carried forward.

But unfortunately we do not see Software development at the rapid pace to match the hardware.

To exploit the full potential of these new processors & architecture,Intel should now buy up software companies to develop supporting software like IBM does.

Intel Corporation's Multicore Architecture Briefing

http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/reference/I...

http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/reference/w...




RE: What about software ?
By crystal clear on 3/18/2008 11:44:04 AM , Rating: 1
Microsoft and Intel will unveil on Tuesday a plan to fund university research into new ways to program software for multi-core processors, Microsoft confirmed Monday.

The companies will unveil funding for research at the University of California at Berkeley to tackle the challenges of programming for processors that have more than one core and so can carry out more than one set of program instructions at a time, a scenario known as parallel computing.

Microsoft and Intel plan to hold a press conference on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. PST to discuss the news, which was revealed in The Wall Street Journal and other published reports on Monday. A spokeswoman from Microsoft's public relations firm confirmed the WSJ report but said it was only part of what will be revealed Tuesday.

Those expected to unveil the research on the conference call Tuesday are Andrew Chien, director and vice president at Intel Research, and Tony Hey, a corporate vice president at Microsoft Research.


RE: What about software ?
By crystal clear on 3/19/2008 6:59:33 AM , Rating: 1
REDMOND, Wash., and SANTA CLARA, Calif. — March. 18, 2008 — Intel Corporation and Microsoft Corp. are partnering with academia to create two Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers (UPCRC), aimed at accelerating developments in mainstream parallel computing, for consumers and businesses in desktop and mobile computing. The new research centers will be located at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Microsoft and Intel have committed a combined $20 million to the Berkeley and UIUC research centers over the next five years. An additional $8 million will come from UIUC, and UC Berkeley has applied for $7 million in funds from a state-supported program to match industry grants. Research will focus on advancing parallel programming applications, architecture and operating systems software. This is the first joint industry and university research alliance of this magnitude in the United States focused on mainstream parallel computing.

Parallel computing brings together advanced software and processors that have multiple cores or engines, which when combined can handle multiple instructions and tasks simultaneously. Although Microsoft, Intel and many others deliver hardware and software that is capable of handling dual- and quad-core-based PCs today, in the coming years computers are likely to have even more processors inside them.



http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/mar0...


RE: What about software ?
By crystal clear on 3/21/2008 11:28:34 AM , Rating: 2
The above three comments now bring about a fullfledged aticle on D.T.

So the ignorant fool who votes me down regularly has proved himself to be just that.

Dont you have anything bettter to do !


"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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