Sunday, December 6, 2009

Larraboom !!

Some pretty drastic news coming from Intel today.

It seems that Larrabee is being "refactored" so to speak. In practice, the excessive delays have probably rendered the hardware obsolete before even being released.
The BSN site has an interesting article with a timeline based on rumors and informants and even with a picture of what seems to be a Larrabee card.

Intel says that the LRB is going to be an SDK for the time being while the hardware is possibly being reworked... apparently even to the point of rendering the current SIMD instruction set obsolete ! much for my (fairly small) effort into writing the 16-way SIMD intrinsics version of the vector class template used in RibTools.
In any case, it was somewhat inspiring to see how a wider SIMD ISA looks like and how it should be used.

I don't want to be negative, but this "it's only being postponed, not canceled" talk is hard to believe. It reminds me of the Commodore Amiga fate.. where people kept hanging on promises for ages.

I'm not sure how it is with hardware.. but when it comes to drivers writing, the idea of having to support DirectX 9, 10, 11, OpenGL and possibly OpenCL.. and doing all this on a completely new architecture, while trying to beat nVidia and AMD/ATI cards (that have the luxury of only having to continue to evolve)...  that's a pretty huge task.
You can't really substitute people with a lot of experience in a specific subfield with a lot of generally smart people... (where by people I mean engineers 8)

I should really start thinking about looking into OpenCL/CUDA (and in that case, buy an nVidia card for my home PC).