In an interview with HEXUS.tv Jon Peddie, one of the world's leading experts on the graphics market, suggests that Intel's Larrabee general purpose GPU/stream processor will steal market share from AMD and nVIDIA:
'Intel will take market share from nVIDIA, AMD and S3 just because it showed up,' he said. 'If the part is any good then the bad news [for the incumbent graphics players] gets even worse.'
I agree with Peddie that Intel will shake up the market for nVIDIA, AMD and S3 simply by showing up, and you can be sure that none of these companies will make the mistake of ignoring Intel's entry into the market. The real question is how much of an effect that Intel will have.
At the low end there's certainly room for Intel to flex some muscle and make things happen. At the higher end things are different. AMD and nVIDIA have the mid-to-high end market very tightly stitched up and breaking into this lucrative market will take huge effort. Not only will Intel need to enter the market aggressively with products that can compete with the mature offerings from AMD and nVIDIA but the company will also need to get games developers on board. Expect nVIDIA to aggressively protect its "The Way It's Meant To Be Played" program with developers. Key to any success will be Intel's ability to convince the gaming industry and gamers that they are in this for the long run, and that might be difficult, even for a giant like Intel. No one is going to spend the time and, more importantly, the dollars, backing something that might not be around in a year or so.
My guess is that if Intel is truly serious about making things tougher for AMD and nVIDIA, the chip giant is going to have to either start small and build the platform gradually (probably at a loss for some years) or get the old checkbook out and spend some serious money pushing Larrabee.
One thing that Intel has stacks of is cash.