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Intel Details Larrabee

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#1
Intel Corporation is presenting a paper at the SIGGRAPH 2008 industry conference in Los Angeles on Aug. 12 that describes features and capabilities of its first-ever forthcoming "many-core" blueprint or architecture codenamed "Larrabee." Details unveiled in the SIGGRAPH paper include a new approach to the software rendering 3-D pipeline, a many-core (many processor engines in a product) programming model and performance analysis for several applications.


The first product based on Larrabee will target the personal computer graphics market and is expected in 2009 or 2010. Larrabee will 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.

Larrabee is expected to kick start an industry-wide effort to create and optimize software for the dozens, hundreds and thousands of cores expected to power future computers. Intel has a number of internal teams, projects and software-related efforts underway to speed the transition, but the tera-scale research program has been the single largest investment in Intel's technology research and has partnered with more than 400 universities, DARPA and companies such as Microsoft and HP to move the industry in this direction.

Over time, the consistency of Intel architecture and thus developer freedom afforded by the Larrabee architecture will bring about massive innovation in many areas and market segments. For example, while current games keep getting more and more realistic, they do so within a rigid and limited framework. Working directly with some of the world's top 3-D graphics experts, Larrabee will give developers of games and APIs (Application Programming Interface) a blank canvas onto which they can innovate like never before.

Initial product implementations of the Larrabee architecture will target discrete graphics applications, support DirectX and OpenGL, and run existing games and programs. Additionally, a broad potential range of highly parallel applications including scientific and engineering software will benefit from the Larrabee native C/C++ programming model.

Additional details of the Larrabee architecture discussed in this paper include:
  • The Larrabee architecture has a pipeline derived from the dual-issue Intel Pentium processor, which uses a short execution pipeline with a fully coherent cache structure. The Larrabee architecture provides significant modern enhancements such as a wide vector processing unit (VPU), multi-threading, 64-bit extensions and sophisticated pre-fetching. This will enable a massive increase in available computational power combined with the familiarity and ease of programming of the Intel architecture.
  • 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.
  • A coherent on-die 2nd level cache allows efficient inter-processor communication and high-bandwidth local data to be access by CPU cores, making the writing of software programs simpler.
  • The Larrabee native programming model supports a variety of highly parallel applications, including those that use irregular data structures. This enables development of graphics APIs, rapid innovation of new graphics algorithms, and true general purpose computation on the graphics processor with established PC software development tools.
  • Larrabee features task scheduling which is performed entirely with software, rather than in fixed function logic. Therefore rendering pipelines and other complex software systems can adjust their resource scheduling based each workload's unique computing demand.
  • The Larrabee architecture supports four execution threads per core with separate register sets per thread. This allows the use of a simple efficient in-order pipeline, but retains many of the latency-hiding benefits of more complex out-of-order pipelines when running highly parallel applications.
  • The Larrabee architecture uses a 1024 bits-wide, bi-directional ring network (i.e., 512 bits in each direction) to allow agents to communicate with each other in low latency manner resulting in super fast communication between cores.
  • The Larrabee architecture fully supports IEEE standards for single and double precision floating-point arithmetic. Support for these standards is a pre-requisite for many types of tasks including financial applications.
Source: Intel
 
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#2
See, now THIS is news.
 

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#3
Crap I WANT one :eek:
 
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#4
Even if Larabee isn't some ass whipping monster, just the concept is sorely needed.

Three things to make games better:

Open source style development or 'blank slate.'
Physics
Real time ray shading

Intel is working on one, Nvidia on the other, ATi on the last.

Problem for Nvidia and ATi, is that they won't have any monopolies on their technology. We already saw Nvidia offer up Physx to ATi.

It's like Intel is gearing up to take over the bloody world. And in ways, I'd quite like that. People worry about monopolies causing price gouging. Though look at the prices from Intel chips in the last couple of years. AMD has not been a contender at all, yet Intel has a plethora of chips for every type of consumer, and at some seriously awesome prices; even when they are brand new. If AMD were to perish, or Nvidia/Ati for that matter, Intel wouldn't even need to gouge.
 

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#5
It is a nice concept coming from intel though. Maybe game developers should stop focusing on graphics and make good games now since they seem to be lacking in that these days.
 

chron

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#6
Larrabee is expected to kick start an industry-wide effort to create and optimize software for the dozens, hundreds and thousands of cores expected to power future computers.
thousands of cores? Meaning multiple computers or actual stand-alone computers using thousands of cores? If that's the case, then this is pretty much a plan for the next 20 - 25 years or so I would think...
 

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#7
Even if this sucks as a GPU, it'll make one helluva CPU - DO WANT NOW :D

This thing may also make workstation cards completely obsolete too.
 
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#8
I wonder about the possibilities....
 
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#9
Even if this sucks as a GPU, it'll make one helluva CPU - DO WANT NOW :D

This thing may also make workstation cards completely obsolete too.
Naw, that's why they're using old 486-cores or whatever for the basis of it -- the instructions are going to be very simple, wouldn't function as a good CPU. But with number crunching, it'll probably be great.
 
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#10
I'd love to be able to leave the CPU socket free of anything.... :p


Slot 1 redux anyone?

Naw, that's why they're using old 486-cores or whatever for the basis of it -- the instructions are going to be very simple, wouldn't function as a good CPU. But with number crunching, it'll probably be great.
Number crunching = CPU power. The fact that they are choosing such efficient cores makes the GPU very powerful when you have that many of them. Main thing is the GPU would be able to support what, DX12, 13, 14 ,15 whatever, because of its design.

I'd see Intel eventually offer chipsets which could probably use the larabee as the CPU.
 
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#11
I'd love to be able to leave the CPU socket free of anything.... :p


Slot 1 redux anyone?



Number crunching = CPU power. The fact that they are choosing such efficient cores makes the GPU very powerful when you have that many of them. Main thing is the GPU would be able to support what, DX12, 13, 14 ,15 whatever, because of its design.

I'd see Intel eventually offer chipsets which could probably use the larabee as the CPU.
Kind of along these lines.... There was a mobo manuf. (help plz) that made a pci-e card (for their intel MB, pentium 4 days I believe) that you could slap in an AMD CPU. It functioned efficiently as long as you didn't need a lot of bandwidth (obviously). So, it defintely works in the real world to have a CPU plugged into pci-e.
 
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#12
Dear G-d...Folding@Home speedfreaks will sell their soul for one of these when they're supported by the app...
 

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#13
Kind of along these lines.... There was a mobo manuf. (help plz) that made a pci-e card (for their intel MB, pentium 4 days I believe) that you could slap in an AMD CPU. It functioned efficiently as long as you didn't need a lot of bandwidth (obviously). So, it defintely works in the real world to have a CPU plugged into pci-e.
asrock did it, and the slot was actually AGP sized/shaped. they have several motherboards utilising it, the problem with it was that ram had to be on the same card and you were very limited with cooler size/weight.
 

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#14
I wonder if you can have more than one like sli without the bridge.
 
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#15
I wonder if you can have more than one like sli without the bridge.
BTW x55 will not have SLI due to NVIDIA being pissed off at Intel for some reason.
 
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#16
BTW x55 will not have SLI due to NVIDIA being pissed off at Intel for some reason.
Well, I'd say this a good reason. They screw up, yet dominate the integrated market and now are trying for midrange (I guess) with this thing.
 

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#17
Even if Larabee isn't some ass whipping monster, just the concept is sorely needed.

Three things to make games better:

Open source style development or 'blank slate.'
Physics
Real time ray shading

Intel is working on one, Nvidia on the other, ATi on the last.

Problem for Nvidia and ATi, is that they won't have any monopolies on their technology. We already saw Nvidia offer up Physx to ATi.

It's like Intel is gearing up to take over the bloody world. And in ways, I'd quite like that. People worry about monopolies causing price gouging. Though look at the prices from Intel chips in the last couple of years. AMD has not been a contender at all, yet Intel has a plethora of chips for every type of consumer, and at some seriously awesome prices; even when they are brand new. If AMD were to perish, or Nvidia/Ati for that matter, Intel wouldn't even need to gouge.


are you kidding me, by saying AMD was not the one driving Intel prices down even though they cannot match the performance. surely they are matching the price which is why Intel in the last month or so lost market to amd and then suddenly dropped the q6600 quad to almost have price. can i ask why.. please talk reality:laugh:
 

powerwolf

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#18
Everything old is new again.

How tight are Intel's patents on this design? Could AMD do something similiar with old K6 cores or likewise NVIDIA with VIA's Cyrix tech? Hey, maybe Matrox will come out of left field with a Sun-Montalvo version!:eek:

Encouraging developers to by-pass DirectX is a bold move. How does Microsoft feel about that? In fact, with x86 instruction sets diverging (SSE5/AVX), Intel might prefer game programmers junk the OS altogether and write directly to hardware, just like the good ol' days!

It looks like proprietary systems are returning with the same manufacturer supplying CPU,GPU and chipset. While hope remains software companies will support multiple platforms, history has not been so kind. The future might make TWIMTBP seem innocuous by comparison.

So, no Dues Ex 4 for gazillion 68060 core Amigas then. Damn, I speeeel my dreeenk!
 

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#19
BTW x55 will not have SLI due to NVIDIA being pissed off at Intel for some reason.
Nah I mean the larrabee cards bud do ya reckon you could have 2 of them on say an x55 chip
 
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#20
How tight are Intel's patents on this design? Could AMD do something similiar with old K6 cores or likewise NVIDIA with VIA's Cyrix tech? Hey, maybe Matrox will come out of left field with a Sun-Montalvo version!:eek:
AMD can do it with K8. Think of their low power cpu coming out (I mean that in efficiency, intel can't match that). Slap 4 octal-core CPUs on the card?
 

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#21
I want to see what a multiCPU can do as a GPU...considering ATI/AMD and NV use streaming "processors" and are extremely powerful in their areas..Intel better have a lotta cores to compete with what is already there. It's definately cool to see, but how large is that GPU die going to be? How large is the PCB? What kind of power requirements for so many "modded pentiums" loaded onto that PCB? Questions I look forward to having answered in the future...maybe this'll be one of the first tripple slot cooled, PCI-E 3.0 cards? Maybe?

I'm definately interested in seeing this unfold, Intel has plenty of R&D, plus they know what's out there...so I'm sure it won't dissapoint for it's price range..depending on what their goal is.

:toast:
 
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#23
just another CPU to force user to change all hardware... 2% will do but the rest will be happy with the older ; another excuse to empty people's wallet greedy manufacturers...
 
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#24
I want to see what a multiCPU can do as a GPU...considering ATI/AMD and NV use streaming "processors" and are extremely powerful in their areas..Intel better have a lotta cores to compete with what is already there. It's definately cool to see, but how large is that GPU die going to be? How large is the PCB? What kind of power requirements for so many "modded pentiums" loaded onto that PCB? Questions I look forward to having answered in the future...maybe this'll be one of the first tripple slot cooled, PCI-E 3.0 cards? Maybe?

I'm definately interested in seeing this unfold, Intel has plenty of R&D, plus they know what's out there...so I'm sure it won't dissapoint for it's price range..depending on what their goal is.

:toast:
Seconded
just another CPU to force user to change all hardware... 2% will do but the rest will be happy with the older ; another excuse to empty people's wallet greedy manufacturers...
Isn't that what MFGs are for? Or at least thats what they think they are for.


Conceptually I'd love to have it in a work horse machine but I guess we'll have to see on the graphics end.
 
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#25
are you kidding me, by saying AMD was not the one driving Intel prices down even though they cannot match the performance. surely they are matching the price which is why Intel in the last month or so lost market to amd and then suddenly dropped the q6600 quad to almost have price. can i ask why.. please talk reality:laugh:

No, I'm not kidding.

"Cut throat" has not been the atmosphere of the CPU market in the last two years; at least not for Intel.

I don't see the price drop in the Q6600 having anything to do with AMD whatsoever. That chip has been cheap since day one, like all the other chips in the Core 2 lineup. That's the point. Your only exceptions were 'extreme''/high end processors and naturally that's expected -if nothing else just to milk out some extra money.

My point was that there's been no need for wild pricing or tooth and nail competition, because Intel has completely stumped AMD, and if Nehalem takes off, it will all but force AMD into an extremely small market niche. Thus, it's another variable to the equation of Intel 'taking over the world.'