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Monday, December 07, 2009
Intel Delays Larrabee Graphics Chip

Intel will not be able to release the advanced graphics chip based on its novel Larrabee design, after concluding that delays in the project would make it uncompetitive.

Intel decided to scrap plans for the graphics card because Larrabee's silicon and software development are behind where it had hoped they would be at this point in the project, spokesman Nick Knupffer said in a Reuters inquiry.

The company was initially planning to launch the graphics card in the 2009-2010 timeframe. Intel now plans its first Larrabee product to be used as a software development platform for both graphic and high performance computing, Knupffer said.

The first product based on Larrabee would target the personal computer graphics market and was expected in 2009 or 2010. Larrabee wouldl be the industry's first many-core x86 Intel architecture, meaning it will be based on an array of many processors. The individual processors are similar to the Intel processors that power the Internet and the laptops, PCs and servers that access and network to it.

The Larrabee architecture provides modern enhancements such as a wide vector processing unit (VPU), multi-threading, 64-bit extensions and sophisticated pre-fetching. Larrabee also includes a select few fixed function logic blocks to support graphics and other applications. These units are carefully chosen to balance strong performance per watt, yet contribute to the flexibility and programmability of the architecture.

Intel's decision to delay the introduction of the first chips is a setback to Intel's plans to compete with Nvidia and AMD, which are now the dominant players in the graphics market.

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