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Intel to offer Larrabee details at Siggraph conference

Intel plans to share details of Larrabee, the company's upcoming graphics chip, with programmers and game developers at the Siggraph 2009 conference and exhibition in New Orleans next week.

Larrabee, which is scheduled to be released in late 2009 or early 2010, is a high-end graphics chip that uses many x86 cores, as well as some specialized logic components, instead of specialized processing cores like those found in chips made by rivals Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices.

Intel's aim is to tap into the broad expertise that already exists for writing code for x86 processors and extend this to graphics and other applications that rely on the parallel processing capabilities of graphics chips.

Larrabee is an important product for Intel, which aims to match the graphics power of AMD and Nvidia. Intel is already the world's largest maker of graphics chips, thanks to its use of chipsets that include integrated graphics capabilities. But the graphics performance of these chips is no match for standalone, or discrete, graphics chips made by its rivals — a point that these companies are quick to note when asked about how the release of Larrabee might shake up the graphics market.

At Siggraph next week, Intel engineers will attempt to woo software developers with two talks covering various aspects of programming for Larrabee.

One talk, set for August 4, will cover vector programming and discuss details of the Larrabee instruction set. The other talk, titled “Preparing for Larrabee, is intended to help developers prepare for Larrabee's release by adapting their existing code for use with the chip. This talk will be held on August 5.

Both Larrabee-related talks will be held at Intel's booth at the Siggraph exhibition and are not part of the conference's technical track.

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