Intel delays Larrabee graphics processor

Intel is delaying the commercial release of its Larrabee graphics processor, which had been due out next year, and is not providing a new launch date.

The company originally planned to start selling the many-core chip sometime in 2010, but has fallen behind where it hoped to be in Larrabee's development, an Intel spokesman said Friday. He did not provide a more detailed reason for the delay.

Intel remains committed to delivering the graphics chip and will discuss further plans next year, the spokesman said. It will launch samples of Larrabee for developers next year, along with tools to let them write and test applications for it, he said.

Intel demonstrated a system based on Larrabee in September at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. It said then that the chip would ship next year, but did not give a specific date. Intel has also kept several basic details about the chip secret, including how many processor cores it will have.

Larrabee will be Intel's first discrete graphics processor. It has characterized it as a many-core processor that will be able to perform the same type of tasks as a multicore CPU, but deliver more parallelism by offering more pipelines to process data.

The chip will be based on the x86 architecture and will be capable of full graphics-processing capabilities. It is designed to compete with offerings from Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices, which offer graphics chips for gaming and high-performance applications.

Intel officials have said some of the technology behind Larrabee may be used in the future to produce graphics cores that can be integrated into CPUs.

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