First Details on a Future Intel Design Codenamed 'Larrabee'
Intel Corporation is presenting a paper at the SIGGRAPH 2008 industry
conference in Los Angeles on Aug. 12 that describes features and
capabilities of its first-ever forthcoming "many-core" blueprint or
architecture codenamed "Larrabee."
Details unveiled in the SIGGRAPH paper include a new approach to the software rendering 3-D pipeline, a many-core (many processor engines in a product) programming model and performance analysis for several applications.
The first product based on Larrabee will target the personal computer graphics market and is expected in 2009 or 2010. Larrabee will be the industry's first many-core x86 Intel architecture, meaning it will be based on an array of many processors. The individual processors are similar to the Intel processors that power the Internet and the laptops, PCs and servers that access and network to it.
Larrabee is expected to kick start an industry-wide effort to create and optimize software for the dozens, hundreds and thousands of cores expected to power future computers. Intel has a number of internal teams, projects and software-related efforts underway to speed the transition, but the tera-scale research program has been the single largest investment in Intel's technology research and has partnered with more than 400 universities, DARPA and companies such as Microsoft and HP to move the industry in this direction.
Over time, the consistency of Intel architecture and thus developer freedom afforded by the Larrabee architecture will bring about massive innovation in many areas and market segments. For example, while current games keep getting more and more realistic, they do so within a rigid and limited framework. Working directly with some of the world's top 3-D graphics experts, Larrabee will give developers of games and APIs (Application Programming Interface) a blank canvas onto which they can innovate like never before.
Initial product implementations of the Larrabee architecture will target discrete graphics applications, support DirectX and OpenGL, and run existing games and programs. Additionally, a broad potential range of highly parallel applications including scientific and engineering software will benefit from the Larrabee native C/C++ programming model.
Additional details of the Larrabee architecture discussed in this paper include:
The Larrabee architecture has a pipeline derived from the dual-issue Intel Pentium