Move over Nvidia & ATI?
Intel have divulged some new information on their new Larrabee chip architecture that will use multiple cores to boost processing speeds in applications such as 3D graphics and scientific and engineering simulations. Larrabee will be a standalone chip and will differ greatly from their integrated graphics processors (IGP's). The new chips will be based on the Intel x86 acrchitecture. According to Intel, the first Larrabee product will be aimed squarely at the personal computer market, which means that they will be in direct competition with NVidia and AMD/ATi, who both dominate the discrete GPU market.
Intel have described in a statement that Larrabee will be the industry's first many core x86 Intel architecture. There are already dual and quad core processors, soon to be eight core with Nehalem, but Larabee will potentially have dozens and maybe even hundreds of cores. Intel have said they will be looking at core counts of between 8-48 upon release. The individual cores are taken from the Pentium, with 64-bit instructions and multi-threading added. Each core will have 256 kilobytes of level-2 cache allowing the size of the cache to scale with the total number of cores.
Larabee does not require a special API, and it will be compatible wih DirectX, so existing games will be able to run on the new chips. All this sounds very promising, and we hope Intel pull this one off. This new chip may give NVidia/ATi some much needed competition.
Discuss the Larrabee in our forum here