Intel Plays Down Larrabee For Consumers

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Larrabee, Intel’s effort to produce a discrete graphics processing unit to rival offerings put forth by NVIDIA and ATI, has apparently hit something of a setback.  The chipmaker announced this week that plans to produce a consumer variant of the model have been sandbagged, at least for now.  The project, originally due out in 2008, was recently shown off at the annual supercomputing conference, putting out performance roughly equal to one-fifth what rival AMD’s products can put out.

While the internet seems to be going wild over Larrabee being canceled, that’s not quite true—Intel has decided to release the first iteration as a software development platform only, targeting only internal development and select external partners.  That revision should be out sometime next year, though Intel won’t comment on when we can see it, what form it will take, or when/if we’ll ever see a consumer version.

Is Larrabee dead?  Probably not.  Intel isn’t planning on giving up on the large discrete GPU market that easily.  When we’ll see it come to market, however, is anyone’s guess.

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