Intel may give Larrabee update in late 2010, analyst says

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Intel is likely to give an update on plans for its delayed graphics chip during the third quarter of 2010, an industry analyst said Wednesday.

Last week, Intel announced it was delaying indefinitely the release of a graphics chip based on its Larrabee architecture, which uses dozens of x86 cores to handle graphics processing and parallel processing tasks. The delay was seen as a blow to Intel’s hopes of competing against standalone graphics chips made by Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices.

Intel executives said the company will detail its future plans for Larrabee next year, without giving a specific date. However, an announcement could come during the third quarter of next year, when Intel hosts its annual Intel Developer Forum conference, said Jim McGregor, the chief technology strategist at market research firm In-Stat.

“I do think we will see plans from them next fall, but not a product until sometime later. I would also expect that it might have some significant changes as a result of the lessons learned,” McGregor wrote in an e-mail, without speculating what kinds of changes might be made.

“You always learn something when you are trying to create a new hardware architecture and software programming model,” he wrote.

While Intel shelved plans for the release of a Larrabee chip, it’s promised to make samples available to developers as part of a software developer platform that will allow them to write and test applications.

Intel showed off a Larrabee prototype at IDF in September, where it was demonstrated running a video game, “Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.”

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