Intel Larrabee to have 32 cores, ship in 2010

Intel Larrabee to have 32 cores, ship in 2010

Summary: Intel has hinted to its plans for its multiple-core Larrabee graphics processor, showing a design that uses 32 processor cores and mates each to its "own vector math unit, allowing each core to process very specialized tasks very efficiently," according to Electronista.The news was revealed at the opening of Saarland University's Visual Computing Institute this week, where Intel promised $12 million toward the new Intel Visual Computing Institute over the next five years.

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Intel has hinted to its plans for its multiple-core Larrabee graphics processor, showing a design that uses 32 processor cores and mates each to its "own vector math unit, allowing each core to process very specialized tasks very efficiently," according to Electronista.

The news was revealed at the opening of Saarland University's Visual Computing Institute this week, where Intel promised $12 million toward the new Intel Visual Computing Institute over the next five years.

[Related: Gauging the return on R&D: Do tech giants spend too much?]

Earlier this week, Intel was fined $1.45 billion for in an antitrust case with the European Commission.

The Larrabee chips are also reported to "have a pool of cache memory and a memory interface on their edges." At the event, Intel VP of corporate technology Joseph Schultz mentioned that Intel is now looking at a release date of the first half of 2010, moved back from the company's original late-2009 target.

Larrabee is the Intel's latest high-performance graphics design that is intended to compete with true dedicated video chipsets (more information on Larrabee from ZDNet's John Morris here; a nice Wikipedia breakdown here; and the real nitty-gritty from Intel in PDF here).

Topics: Hardware, CXO, Intel, Processors

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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9 comments
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  • That's going to take some juice to run

    Order my nuclear reactor now
    Alan Smithie
    • Why do you say that?

      It's 32x10 Pentium 1 cores, modified to have 32Kb of caches instead of the 16 they orginally had, and each attached to a VPU (vector processing unit) which helps specialize them for Ray Tracing. The kind of cool thing about Larabee is it basically allows gamers to write their own graphics engine that is completely free of any DX or OpenGL restrictions, and that software rendered engine will run as if it were on a hardware rendered engine that was built for it. At least, that's the promise. We'll see what is delivered.

      Still, there is no reason to think 320 pentium 1 cores would consume much power these days, considering they're being made on a 40nm process.
      LiquidLearner
  • RE: Intel Larrabee to have 32 cores, ship in 2010

    Nvidea already has 128 cores.
    docquesting
    • Correction...

      nVidia has over 400 cores in their newest GPUs.

      Keep up.
      ShadowGIATL
      • It always makes me laugh

        when someone corrects with the wrong information. The most an nvidia GPU has is 480, although that's like saying the most ATI has is 1600. Since the GTX295 is two GTX 280s, they really just have 240x2. Like the 4870x2 has 800x2.

        Additionally, comparing number of stream processor to number of x86 processors is comparing apples to oranges. Technically Larabee has 320 cores, since each of the 32 cores is 10x Pentium cores in the same die space as a modern Core 2.
        LiquidLearner
  • But can it do Crysis at better than 5 FPS? (nt)

    .
    Letophoro
  • Everything's relative

    32 Cores sounds impressive until you consider that the
    nVidia 285GTX has 240 cores. Obviously the power of
    each core will determine the card's ability. I'm
    waiting to see some actual benchmarks before getting
    excited about it.
    techconc
  • Re: Intel Larrabee to have 32 cores...

    I am quite sure that multi-core processors are like a chain.. only as strong as their weakest link. Enough already with over exaggeration of power! Hardware people are getting overly carried away with themselves and their products. No one individual or any business needs that much power to process paperwork, pictures, E-Mail, presentations, and use the Internet. I am growing increasingly bored with the search for bigger, better, and faster. It's time to focus on making things to real quality standards so they don't fail like a lot of hardware I have seen recently and just out of the box. It's time for the 5 year warranty to come back to hard drives and not this silly 3 year thing that warranties virtually nothing. - That being only one example. Hardware is already bigger than we need and faster than we need too. So lets get it right from here on out and admit we have come to the end of this ridiculus road. Quality should now be the issue as these kinds of hardware benefit only the super-graphics intensive areas that rely on C.A.D. or medical apps for viewing internal organs. Here processing and video horsepower matter... But!, the home or business desktop?! - Com'on... get with it people!
    The Rifleman
    • Ummm...

      You are so far off it's not even funny. A high end graphics card isn't used for [i]"process paperwork, pictures, E-Mail, presentations, and use the Internet"[/i]. A graphics card is used for gaming, rendering, highly intense floating point operations, medical calculations, physics simulations, and a variety of other tasks. Someone who goes out and drops $400 on a graphics card, like I have in the past, isn't doing it because their computer's primary purpose is "checking e-mail". Maybe that's all you use your computer for but don't push that stereotype down everyone else's throat.

      I'm a gamer. I also run folding@home becaue, when my computer isn't in use, it seems like letting it run for cancer research is a good idea. What you don't understand about Larabee, or GPUs in general, is they are becoming more and more programmable and usable for all kinds of various applications. Larabee is going to shine a Ray Tracing, the technique used to render high budget, digitally animated movies. It's a superior rendering style than our current techniques used in games. It also scales directly with the number of cores. So if it's "x" fast with 16 cores, it's exactly twice as fast with 32 cores.
      LiquidLearner