Intel says 48 core graphics is just over the horizon
We'll reach Larrabee by 2009...or maybe 2010
Intel is releasing the Larrabee graphics chip for high-end PC gaming in late 2009 or 2010, but the company is already talking up the chip’s capabilities in a new paper.
Depending on the model, Larrabee will feature between eight and 48 cores, each of which will have super-fast inter-communication and increase the chip's ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously.
For example, Intel argues that by having greater numbers of smaller cores, instead of single or dual cores, Larrabee will be able to support better experiences for gamers – a key target audience.
It's purely coincidental that the update comes just days before AMD updates journalists on its graphics strategy and unveils some new silicon at its CTO summit in Iceland.
Larry Seiler, a senior principal engineer at Intel, told journalists at the unveiling of the paper - dubbed Larrabee: A Many-Core x86 Architecture for Visual Computing - that the chip overcomes the limitations of current graphics processors. He added that it provides “the full programming abilities of a CPU” alongside “the parallelism that is inherent in graphics processors”.
Larrabee supports Microsoft's DirectX and OpenGL APIs, which will help software developers to create visual and graphics intensive applications that take full advantage of the chip.
Larrabee will support IEEE standards for single and double precision floating-point arithmetic, which is already featured in AMD and Nivida GPU models.
Jon Peddie Research (JPR) told Bloomberg that success in the high-end graphics market could add up to $4bn to Intel's sales in 2010 - provided it performs as well as rival chips from Nvidia and AMD.
JPR’s latest figures show that 94.4m GPU units were shipped during the first quarter of this year, representing a drop of 0.5 per cent from the previous quarter. However, shipments grew 16 per cent from the same period in 2007.
Intel took pole position in Q1, with 47.3 per cent of the market, whilst Nvidia – which today denied it’s leaving the chipset market – and AMD took 31.4 per cent and 18.1 per cent market shares respectively.
end of encryption!
@AC "Who gives a hoot how many cores? What is the user need? Does it meet it or exceed it? Simple."
this family of chips will mean that all such desktop/laptop pc's will contain the processing array suitable for reverse engineering most forms of encryption.
see coWPAtty and Pico FPGA arrays = expensive current SOTA systems for 'lanman' rainbow tables. DES , triple DES, GSM A5, WPA/WPA2, Gone!!!!
Larrabee are GPGPU's not just GPU's and it almost means the end of cryptographic secrecy - especially for resource constrained devices.
Survey: do you use one of the most common 1000 WiFi SSID's?, do you use a pre-shared WPA pass phrase of around 20 characters or less?
survey answer: Yes!, you're on the 33GB reverse lookup table!
(available here http://umbra.shmoo.com:6969/, 24 seeds)
now just extrapolate this to nearly all current RCD crypto. soon stuffed!?
RE: @Danny, @Matt
All well and dandy, but one of the reasons we have so many high-clock, multi-pipeline graphics cards nowadays is the way that graphics is still done. Imagine a room with lots of boxes in it that we are asking our graphics engine to render a frame of. In the room, some of the objects are hiding the others from the player's viewpoint. With the current technology, EVERYTHING in the room gets computed and processed, and THEN it is calculated what can actually be seen by the viewer and the rest is discarded. I think it's called z-buffer rendering or something similar.
This amounts to calculate everything in the scene as 3D objects, map in the triangle vertices, store the scene in fast memory, then - AFTER all that very intensive processing in all those parallel pipelines - decide which objects can actually be seen from the player's viewpoint and output this, throwing away all the rest of the computed data. Repeat for each frame. Of course, as we ask for more and more colours (now 32-bit = 64million!) and higher resolutions, all at high frame-rates, all that processing becomes hideously more intense yet we still end up displaying maybe only as little as 10% of what has been computed! It's like taking a maths problem of 1+1=? and instead of just doing the smart thing and one calculation, instead we calculate all the possible answers first and then decide which one is the right one afterwards. But it is simpler for the graphics vendors to implement than invent cleverer solutions, and allows nVidia and ATi to sell us very powerful graphics engines at crazy prices.
If I remember correctly, the only real implementation that went against this process was PowerVR's Tile-Based Deferred Rendering, which calculated what the viewer could actually see in each frame, drew just that, and did it with much less processing and memory requirements than what 3dfx, nVidai and ATi were using. It was only because PowerVR didn't include Transform and Lighting processes which became the tech-du-jour of the majority of games that nVidia and ATi were able to out-perform the PowerVR cards.
Instead of careering down the path of more and more unneccessary "cores"/pipelines and associated memory, can't we see a smarter approach along the lines of TBDR that will consume less power, cost less, and won't need a massive card taking up room in my PC case, or a CPU with embedded graphics needing a space-hogging socket on my mobo? It's interesting to note the more power-efficient PowerVR technology has become almost a standard in handsets and smartphones, even in (insert gasps of shock and horror) the fashion-victim's fave, the iBone!
Is it just me?
or is massively parallel computing a niche arena, not to mention difficult and expensive to do?
Isn't the point of specialised silicon that a chip with smaller ambitions is cheaper to build, faster (at the high-end) and more efficient than a general purpose chip?
Isn't that's why we don't put quad-core intel's in mobile phones? Why would you take a general purpose chip, complicate it with 48 cores and then use it for a single purpose?
I'm gonna need a new PSU (or 20) to get asteroids working on my new 48-core machine...
You are correct except for the fact that the CPU number of cores is going to increase pretty quickly as well. By Q2 2009 Intel should have released the 8-core Nehalem version, at least the Xeon server one and maybe a desktop Extreme as well. By Q4 2010 the first CPU derived from the Terascale project (which is a twin project of the Larrabee one) should be released and feature up to 32 cores. And then that number of cores is going to double and then double once again up to 128+ cores by 2012-2014 timeframe or sooner.
Why do you need so many speedy little cores?
Well, because that is how 3D graphics are done. If you take for example the recent ATI Radeon 4870, it has 800 vertex shaders and 40 pixel shaders. Each of those is a custom bit of silicon acting as an independant processing unit - aka a cutdown core.
This is different, as it uses general purpose cores to do the job of vertex/pixel shaders. This is NOT a CPU, this is in addition to your CPU, which will remain dual/quad core for the time being I'd imagine (very little benefit in 8 cores for most users).