Larrabee: first public demonstration
By Darien Graham-Smith in San Francisco
Posted on 22 Sep 2009 at 21:52
Intel has given the first ever public demonstration of its long-awaited Larrabee graphics system.
Very few technical details were revealed, but IDF attendees were treated to a brief demonstration showing a high-resolution scene featuring live ray-traced moving reflections in an undulating pool of water.
"I'm super-excited with our progress," declared Bill Mark, Intel's senior research scientist.
"This is running on early silicon, but we've got ray-tracing running in real time. It allows you to simulate the interaction of light and matter in a way that’s really accurate, and makes it very easy to get effects like shadow and reflection."
No technical details
It was, however, noticeable that the scene had very few moving elements, and appeared to be running at a comparatively low frame rate - perhaps around 15fps, despite running on an as-yet unreleased six-core 32nm CPU.
And Mark did not discuss performance, preferring to emphasise the versatility and ease of programmability offered by Larrabee.
"Larrabee gives you a fully programmable rendering pipeline. So you can use DirectX, or OpenGL - or your own pipeline."
"These reflections here are just ten lines of code," he stated. "To do something like this on a conventional GPU would be really quite painful."
Software development kits for Larrabee are available now, but Intel has given no word on when actual hardware will ship, or even what form the internal hardware will take. When asked for technical details, executive vice president Sean Maloney would confirm only that “we showed you what we showed you.”
- Play it again: Berlin's Computer Game Museum
- Switching from iPhone to Android: what I miss, what I don't
- Tech City: Easy to score when you move the goalposts
- How to remove SkyDrive from the Windows 8.1 Explorer
- Switching from iPhone to Android? Switch off iMessage
- Why is Google pumping more money into Firefox?
- Sky Broadband Shield review
- Samsung Galaxy S4: how to double your battery life
- Motorola Moto G review: first look
- IBM Watson meets Willy Wonka
- Is Facebook safe for business?
- Jon Honeyball's money's-no-object Christmas gift idea
- The importance of load balancing
- Windows Phone App Studio: an easy way to create your first Windows Phone 8 app
- The end of Windows XP support: what it really means for businesses
- Don't rely on Chrome's password vault
- Using Buffer to manage your social media
- Microsoft needs its own Steve Jobs
- Forget credit cards: hackers want your Facebook account
- Can't get fast enough broadband? Here's what to do