Inside Intel Larrabee - Larrabee Key Differences from Typical GPUs

By Scott Ferguson  |  Posted 2008-08-06 Print this article Print

Each Larrabee core is a complete x86 core: context switching and pre-emptive multitasking; virtual memory and page swapping; fully coherent caches at all levels of the hierarchy. Efficient interblock communication: ring bus for full interprocessor communication; low-latency, high-bandwidth Level 1 and Level 2 caches; fast synchronization between cores and caches. Fixed function logic doesn't get in the way: no back-end blender between cores and memory; no rasterization logic between vertex and pixel stages. Result: flexible load balancing and general functionality.

Intel's Larrabee processor is Intel's first multicore processor and first stand-alone graphics card. Larrabee is also a swipe at graphics chip makers Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices, whose powerful graphics chips are starting to look like a threat to Silicon Valley's king of silicon chips. Intel Larrabee will have numerous x86 processor cores (Intel won't reveal how many processor cores) and support for OpenGL and DirectX, allowing it to run existing games and software requiring high-end graphics.

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