Testing times for Larrabee
Essentially, what this means is that the much-touted, long-awaited Larrabee will now amount to nothing much more than a neutered engineering prototype for developers and academics to use as part of their development or testing process.
An Intel spokesperson told HEXUS he wasn't even sure whether the platforms would be sold or simply given away to developers for free.
Asked what the benefit was to developers in using a miscarried Larrabee product to develop on, rather than an AMD or NVIDIA graphics platform, HEXUS was told the main plus would be for software set to run on multi-core Intel products.
"Larrabee gives developers freedom to innovate in new ways within the familiar programming framework afforded by the Intel architecture," the spokesman said.
An NVIDIA source told HEXUS "The fact that a company with Intel's technical prowess and financial resources has struggled so hard to succeed with parallel computing shows just how exceptionally difficult a challenge this is."
Intel's spokesman, meanwhile said while he was "disappointed" that the product wasn't where the company expected it to be, the firm remained committed to delivering "world-class many-core graphics products" to its customers at some point in 2010. Although when in 2010 remains a mystery.
Intel also said its plans to deliver "the world's first CPUs with integrated graphics" this month remained unchanged.
In summary, Intel's attempt to oust AMD (ATI) and NVIDIA from their dominant positions in the discrete GPU market appear to be over - for now at least. The harbinger of the demise was an anaemic Larrabee presentation at IDF this year, with many of the assembled press stupefied by the lack of progress on the GPU front.
Intel's Pat Gelsinger, it is said, bore the brunt of the Larrabee failure, and it'll be a brave man or woman who takes on the Larrabee II project, when it comes to pass.