Intel Shelves Larrabee Discrete GPU Plans

We suppose even the best laid plans can fall apart, and it seems that one of Intel's most promising endeavors is no longer active as of today. In a new post by the company's own Bill Kircos, he addresses Intel's stance on graphics-related programs, giving vague updates to a broad variety of topics.

But one area wasn't vague at all. When speaking about Larrabee, which the company has been talking about and showcasing for many years now, he noted that Intel is "executing on a business opportunity derived from the Larrabee program and Intel research in many-core chips." He follows by saying that this "server product line expansion is optimized for a broader range of highly parallel workloads in segments such as high performance computing," but continues on with the real kick-in-the-pants: "We will not bring a discrete graphics product to market, at least in the short-term."


That's a pretty major statement for Intel to make. With NVIDIA forging ahead on Ion and AMD forging ahead with a number of integrated/discrete ATI Radeon options, Intel is seemingly taking a back seat and reserving their efforts solely for IGPs. He also admits that Intel "missed some key product milestones," and after looking at things again, the company has decided to focus on "processor graphics," as they believe that "media/HD video and mobile computing are the most important areas to focus on moving forward."

So, no discrete GPU from Intel. Wow. Here's a look at the full post below, though the rest just feels unimportant compared to that whopper.

At Intel, there are two undeniable trends or tenets that are driving us in these areas: the explosive rise of media - specifically HD video, and the rapid shift to wireless mobile computers that consume less power.

Our current 2010 Intel® Core™ processors integrate what we call Intel HD Graphics, and offer a best-in-class solution for the vast majority of how we all use our computers. If you choose our processors, you get a great visual experience for the bulk of what you do. We’ve even added entirely new features, such as Wireless Display right to your TV. Intel’s processor graphics will continue to be enhanced - with more surprises - in our 2011 Intel Core processor family, code-named Sandy Bridge.

In a nutshell, Intel has three visual computing efforts. The first is the aforementioned processor graphics. Since we began integrating graphics inside our chipsets back in 1999 (and now integrate graphics inside our processor products), the majority of PC users are now using integrated solutions. Second, for our smaller Intel® Atom™ processor and System on Chip efforts, and third, a many-core, programmable Intel architecture and first product both of which we referred to as Larrabee for graphics and other workloads. Here’s the latest:

  1. Our top priority continues to be around delivering an outstanding processor that addresses every day, general purpose computer needs and provides leadership visual computing experiences via processor graphics. We are further boosting funding and employee expertise here, and continue to champion the rapid shift to mobile wireless computing and HD video - we are laser-focused on these areas.
  2. We are also executing on a business opportunity derived from the Larrabee program and Intel research in many-core chips. This server product line expansion is optimized for a broader range of highly parallel workloads in segments such as high performance computing. Intel VP Kirk Skaugen will provide an update on this next week at ISC 2010 in Germany.
  3. We will not bring a discrete graphics product to market, at least in the short-term. As we said in December, we missed some key product milestones. Upon further assessment, and as mentioned above, we are focused on processor graphics, and we believe media/HD video and mobile computing are the most important areas to focus on moving forward.
  4. We will also continue with ongoing Intel architecture-based graphics and HPC-related R&D and proof of concepts.

As important is our factory network and manufacturing lead. Simply, our process technology advantages constantly deliver higher performing chips at lower power, smaller sizes and reduced costs. We will apply this strength to bring consumers the most visually rich computing experience you can get.

Via:  Intel

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