Intel Larrabee GPU is dead. Long live Larrabee!

By Richi Jennings. May 26, 2010.

Intel has confirmed that it's killed its discrete graphics processor, codenamed Larrabee. However, the multi-core GPU technology will see the light of day in the HPC market, it hints. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers watch this space.

Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention Super Ninja Mario Gaiden...


    Rik Myslewski notes Intel's concession to Nvidia and AMD/ATI:

Intel's ... orphaned GPU/CPU mashup, Larrabee, will soon see new life in the HPC space. ... [In December 2009] the much-anticipated multicore processor was demoted from about-to-be-a-graphics-chip to a "software development platform".


The Larrabee project has definite HPC implications. We — along with the Nvidians working on that company's HPC-loving Fermi architecture — will be keeping our eye on ... the Larrabee-based "server product line expansion" next week at ISC '10.

Cyril Kowaliski adds:

[Rumors] have hinted that Intel will wow everyone with a discrete GPU when we least expect it, but the latest post on the company's official blog suggests the contrary.


At the same time, the company intends to continue working on research, development, and proof of concepts for ... graphics as well as [HPC] products. ... Mentioning a business opportunity and a "server product line expansion." Intel plans to make more details public at the International Supercomputing Conference in Hamburg, Germany next week.

Intel's Bill Kircos is on-message:

As we said in December, we missed some key product milestones. Upon further assessment ... we are focused on processor graphics, and we believe media/HD video and mobile computing are the most important areas to focus on.


We are also executing on a business opportunity derived from the Larrabee program and Intel research in many-core chips. This ... is optimized for a broader range of highly parallel workloads in segments such as high performance computing.

Ryan Smith digs deep:

Intel [is] ... effectively validating both AMD and NVIDIA’s strategies. As different as Larrabee appeared when it first arrived. ...  Leveraging x86 can be a huge advantage in HPC. If both Intel and NVIDIA see so much potential in HPC for parallel architectures, there must be some high dollar amounts at stake.


 Intel will be dedicating its resources to improving its integrated graphics. We should see a nearly 2x improvement ... with Sandy Bridge [in Q1 2011], and greater than 2x improvement once more with Ivy Bridge in 2012. ... Intel has apparently recognized the importance of the GPU.

But Nick Farrell feels lied to:

Larrabee hardware is dead in the water again.


Two weeks ago Intel CEO Paul Otellini ... [said] that rumours of its Larrabee graphics chips’ demise were greatly exaggerated. ... Well it seems that all Otellini's assurances are not worth much, or at least ... [Bill Kircos] did not get the memo.


And Finally...

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon