Intel’s Graphics Architecture Group Director Thomas Piazza has revealed that Larrabee is unlikely to be released as a graphics part at IDF. When asked if a Larrabee graphics card would ever release, Mr. Piazza was surprisingly forthcoming, saying “I honestly thought i’d get through two days without someone asking me that…” followed by a straightforward answer “I don’t think so.”

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Intel’s Graphics Architecture Group Director Thomas Piazza has revealed
that Larrabee is unlikely to be released as a graphics part at IDF. When
asked if a Larrabee graphics card would ever release, Mr. Piazza was
surprisingly forthcoming, saying “I honestly thought i’d get through two
days without someone asking me that…” followed by a straightforward
answer “I don’t think so.”

Larrabee was to be Intel’s challenge to the Nvidia and ATI dominance in the discrete GPU market. However, designing a graphics architecture from scratch has proved to be daunting challenge, even for mighty Intel. Intel were even more ambitious than simply creating a GPGPU architecture – they designed it around x86 cores with much greater programmability. Sadly, this vision has proved to be over-optimistic, with Larrabee’s programmable cores failing to be anywhere near performance per watt figures of ATI and Nvidia cards. Furthermore, ATI/Nvidia have continued developing and enhancing GPUs at a breakneck pace, with new generations releasing on average every 15 months, with Intel chasing shadows. “Larrabee Prime” was thus canceled in December 2009, with Intel believed to put their efforts on the next version of Larrabee.

Intel have put Larrabee into its Knights Ferry HPC cards, however, with applications that may benefit from its greater programmability. It is also likely that Larrabee research will find their way into Intel’s integrated graphics + CPU parts. Intel’s integrated graphics have increased dramatically, first with Clarkdale and now with Sandy Bridge almost equalling ATI’s entry level Radeon HD 5450 part.

Finally, Intel is unlikely to accept defeat so quick. Even if Larrabee never does make it to retail as a GPU, it is more than likely Intel will start a new discrete GPU project, having learned from Larrabee’s mistakes.

Reference: TechRadar