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Innovation

Intel Larrabee delayed, small cloud of vapor all that remains

Intel has delayed its Larrabee discrete graphics processor, originally scheduled to make an appearance "sometime" in 2010.

Intel has delayed its Larrabee discrete graphics processor, originally scheduled to make an appearance "sometime" in 2010.

Larrabee would have been Intel's first discrete graphics processor. The idea was that the chip, based on the x86 architecture, would be multi-core and be able to offer both graphics processing while also acting as a CPU.

While it all sounded good in PowerPoint presentations, and the demonstration at September's Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco looked promising, there was a lot of mystery and secrecy surrounding the project. Cores, clock speed and power were never fully addressed, as was compatibility. This delay suggests that uncertainty might have been behind the secrecy.

Intel has said that the spirit of Larrabee might be used at some point in the future to produce a CPU/GPU hybrid, but no further details have. been released.

The death of Larrabee says a lot about parallel computing. If a company with Intel's cash, clout and brain has to give up on this project, it either shows just how difficult an engineering feat this is, or that Intel doesn't believe that it could make the tech profitable.

Oh, and it also means that AMD/ATI and NVIDIA can breathe a sigh of relief as their respective market shares are safe ... for now at least.

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