Friday, April 10th 2009

Intel Displays Larrabee Wafer at IDF Beijing

Earlier this week, Intel conducted the Intel Developer Forum (IDF): Spring 2009 event at Beijing, China. Among several presentations on the the architectural advancements of the company's products, that include Nehalem and its scalable platforms, perhaps the most interesting was a brief talk by Pat Gelsinger, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group, on Larrabee. The term is Intel's first "many cores" architecture used to work as a graphics processor. The architecture will be thoroughly backed by low-level and high-level programming languages and tools by Intel.

French website Hardware.fr took a timely snap off a webcast of the event, showing Gelsinger holding a 300 mm wafer of Larrabee dice. The theory that Intel has working prototypes of the GPU deep inside its labs gains weight. Making use of current-generation manufacturing technologies, Intel is scaling the performance of x86 processing elements, all 32+ of them. As you can faintly see from the wafer, Larrabee has a large die. It is reported that first generation of Larrabee will be built on the 45 nm manufacturing process. Products based on the architecture may arrive by late 2009, or early 2010. With the company kicking off its 32 nm production later this year, Larrabee may be built on the newer process a little later.

Source: Hardware.fr
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62 Comments on Intel Displays Larrabee Wafer at IDF Beijing

#1
h3llb3nd4
I really don't like the idea of a GPU intergrated in my CPU:( But I like advancing technology though...
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#2
TRIPTEX_CAN
by: h3llb3nd4
I really don't like the idea of a GPU intergrated in my CPU:( But I like advancing technology though...
I believe Larrabee will be an add in board similar to what ATI and Nvidia are doing. Its just made by Intel. What I dont like is waiting until late 2009-2010 for Project Offset which will Larrabee's flagship game (most likely).
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#3
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
I wonder how usefull this will turn out to be. I think it will be able to run normal code ? If so that would speed up other apps quite nicely.
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#5
Selene
Larrabee, will be a PCI-E GPU just like NV and ATI.
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#7
TRIPTEX_CAN
It wouldn't be a good strategy to limit the sales of your future GPU to only those customers who want you CPU+GPU combo in their system. Intel wants a share of the dedicate GPU pie and to do that they need to cater to those who still prefer CPUs from AMD.
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#8
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I really hope my CRT will hold off until Larrabee is launched. If it becomes the overnight king of graphics, I may buy it up with great haste.


Larrabee is a fully programmable FlOp powerhouse. Think of it this way...

AMD = GPU -> GPGPU (Stream)
NVIDIA = GPU -> GPGPU (CUDA)
Intel = CPU (Core 2) -> SMP (Larrabee)

In essence, Intel started with a CPU and looked at what it would take to make a good graphics card. AMD/Intel took a GPU and tried to inject CPU code (not quite but similar) in to it.

What is particularly exciting is that, because of Nehalem's architecture, I wouldn't be surprised if Nehalem can borrow a few of those cores from a Larrabee card to off load some FPU burden. The sky is literally the limit with Larrabee.
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#9
Mussels
Moderprator
Larrabee DICE? dont you mean dies?
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#10
lemonadesoda
What is VERY atttractive about Larrabee is that (with the right drivers) it can be a GPU when a GPU is needed, but is can be a processor (ala CUDA only much more flexible) when GPU not needed.

Unlike CUDA that requires a separate development environment, Larrabee is x86 and can developed with very little additional learning and in existing x86 IDE compilers.
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#11
LifeOnMars
What about larabees place in the mobile market? That could be very beneficial IMO.
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#12
Salsoolo
if Larrabee is a pcie card, then what exactly are those gpus on the upcoming 32mn processors?
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#13
Selene
by: Salsoolo
if Larrabee is a pcie card, then what exactly are those gpus on the upcoming 32mn processors?
its will be a chip just like NV GT200 chip placed on a PCB that has PCI-E interface.
Just like you take a Intel C2D e8400 chip, it gets placed on a 775 socket board(not sure what you call it) so you can place it in the mobo.
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#15
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: Salsoolo
if Larrabee is a pcie card, then what exactly are those gpus on the upcoming 32mn processors?
Those are integrated graphics. Also, the "32 nm" processors upcoming aren't completely 32 nm. The CPU die is 32 nm, while the NB die (that houses the IGP) is 45 nm. Both share a multi-chip module.
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#16
TheMailMan78
Banstick Dummy
by: FordGT90Concept
I really hope my CRT will hold off until Larrabee is launched. If it becomes the overnight king of graphics, I may buy it up with great haste.


Larrabee is a fully programmable FlOp powerhouse. Think of it this way...

AMD = GPU -> GPGPU (Stream)
NVIDIA = GPU -> GPGPU (CUDA)
Intel = CPU (Core 2) -> SMP (Larrabee)

In essence, Intel started with a CPU and looked at what it would take to make a good graphics card. AMD/Intel took a GPU and tried to inject CPU code (not quite but similar) in to it.

What is particularly exciting is that, because of Nehalem's architecture, I wouldn't be surprised if Nehalem can borrow a few of those cores from a Larrabee card to off load some FPU burden. The sky is literally the limit with Larrabee.
Sounds a lot like the "Cell" CPU in the PS3.
Posted on Reply
#17
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: LifeOnMars
What about larabees place in the mobile market? That could be very beneficial IMO.
I expect is the Sandy Bridge processors to have a Larabee-derived chip integrated into the CPU die. That way there is only one hot device to cool, it is much cheaper to produce, and they care share system memory without any extra links. I think until 2011, Larabee is likely to be stuck on a PCI Express card.


by: TheMailMan78
Sounds a lot like the "Cell" CPU in the PS3.
Kind of. Cell has a PPE with multiple SPEs under it. The only thing resembling a PPE in Larabee would be the CPU; however, the individual cores of a Larabee chip are far more capable than the SPEs in a Cell processor. Not to mention, Larabee will use QPI in the middle instead of something down the lines of a backside bus.
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#18
manicdan
for usage, it sounds like mini-pcs will be stronger, but still no where near strong enough to play any real games. maybe HL2 on medium settings. and good for watching hd content. while its nice for many oddball markets, using this in a pc worth more than 500$ total sounds like a no go. but for smaller cheaper pcs, this and fusion and whatever else companies are thinking of sounds great
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#19
qwerty_lesh
AFAIK Larrabee won't be a PCI-E card.
Theres allot of reading out there you can do about it if you want to know more, from what ive been reading, Larrabee (if successfully) will reshape how graphics is drawn and programmed in games and any other application. It could basically put an end to the dedicated graphics market. It has astounding potential, we just need to see what the adoption for it will be like once its released, heck, there isn't even solid information about how it works yet, just that it will make previous graphical API's obsolete (like opengl and directx). afaik it will advance graphic rendering for everybody, at the same time it could resurrect software rendering for 3D. (doesn't sound like a good thing right? read up about it, its a good thing if it happens)
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#20
smuggler
I am stoned by the illiteracy going around the subject

I am just a regular consumer who likes to know the stuff he buys. many comments are absolutely dumb even for my standards.

Larrabee is a GPU which happens to be a recycled CPU design (Pentium MMX) i guess and modified to be used as a GPU.

It will address to the dedicated graphics cards market.

And there is some mombo jambo about how it may be a different approach in the field.
Posted on Reply
#21
TheMailMan78
Banstick Dummy
by: smuggler
I am just a regular consumer who likes to know the stuff he buys. many comments are absolutely dumb even for my standards.

Larrabee is a GPU which happens to be a recycled CPU design (Pentium MMX) i guess and modified to be used as a GPU.

It will address to the dedicated graphics cards market.

And there is some mombo jambo about how it may be a different approach in the field.
Welcome to the forums. A great way to make friends is to insult people at random. I must say you do a fabulous job at it. Maybe one day we will be an informed as you are. :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#22
smuggler
by: TheMailMan78
Welcome to the forums. A great way to make friends is to insult people at random. I must say you do a fabulous job at it. Maybe one day we will be an informed as you are. :laugh:
Well! the sad thing for you is I don't even claim to be informed. And ""yesss! maybe it's like the Cell thing"
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#23
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: smuggler


Larrabee is a GPU which happens to be a recycled CPU design (Pentium MMX) i guess and modified to be used as a GPU.
Nothing suggests we didn't know that. Each "x86 processing element" is just that. There are fewer processing elements than there are stream processors on a current-gen NVIDIA card, but each "Pentium MMX" is believed by Intel to be more powerful compared to an SIMD element by NVIDIA or AMD.
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#24
BradleyKZN
You guys know about Nvidia's Tesla right? Google it. Lots of info around, not only on nvidias website!
Posted on Reply
#25
TheMailMan78
Banstick Dummy
by: smuggler
Well! the sad thing for you is I don't even claim to be informed. And ""yesss! maybe it's like the Cell thing"
Oh then by all means come on in here and trash us. We will try to meet your "standards".
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