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Intel's Larrabee - A candidate processor for NEXT generation game consoles

Discussion in 'ATI' started by AirRaid, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. AirRaid

    AirRaid Guest


    By Dean Takahashi

    Intel CEO Paul Otellini finally talked up Larrabee today at the Intel
    Developer Forum. This code-named graphics-CPU combination chip has
    dozens of cores capable of running as many as 64 threads, (think
    programs), at the same time. Unlike the upcoming Fusion chip from
    Advanced Micro Devices, which combines a CPU and a graphics chip on a
    single chip, Larrabee consists of a bunch of Intel x86 cores on a chip
    that are capable of either CPU or graphics processing. Programmers can
    determine how they will use those cores at any given time.

    Larrabee will certainly have implications for graphics giant Nvidia.
    But its timing in 2008 with 45-nanometer technology is just in time
    for consideration in the next generation of video game consoles.
    Everyone knows that all of the game console makers are hard at work
    designing their next game consoles. If you recall, IBM said last year
    that it was working on a 32-core version of the Cell microprocessor
    for a few years from now. I figure that will represent IBM's pitch to
    Sony to use another IBM chip in the PlayStation 4. Intel certainly
    doesn't want to be left out again, so it may want to position Larrabee
    as a chip for a video game console. (FYI, 2008 isn't a launch date for
    anybody's new console, but the console makers will want to use a high-
    end chip that has been cost reduced and debugged for a least a year or
    two or more).

    Justin Rattner, chief technology officer at Intel, said that Larrabee
    could indeed prove useful for devices beyond the PC such as a video
    game console. He noted how Larrabee would be more focused on
    processing tasks, in contrast to the floating-point calculation
    focused Cell processors from IBM-Toshiba-Sony. And if we believe
    reports that Sony is shopping its Cell chip factory to Toshiba and
    others, then we might conclude Sony might be ready to consider other
    processor architectures the next time around. This is all rank
    speculation, of course, but fun food for thought. Rattner said that
    Larrabee would be based on the familiar IA architecture that
    programmers know well. He also noted that games require a lot of
    physics processing these days, something Larrabee would be good at. In
    general, he thinks that the PCs and game consoles will come together
    architecturally, now that all are embracing multiple cores.

    AirRaid, Sep 22, 2007
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