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Could Intel's GPGPU be appearing in the Xbox 720 or PlayStation 4...
Larrabee, Intel's foray into the world of discrete graphics processors, could be shaping future next-gen consoles, according to comments from the chip manufacturer in an interview with Develop.
Offering developers a fully programmable pipeline and based around the popular x86 instruction set, the Larrabee specifications are considered to be closer to that of a multi-core CPU than traditional GPU technology. Such a design allows the technology to fluidly handle tasks not typically assigned to the GPU, helping out the CPU as and when needed, and unlocking the true potential of parallel computing offered by multi-core architecture.
Intel's Aaron Coday revealed, "It's definitely something we would want to discuss with the console vendors, and hope that the architecture that we're providing is something that is very compelling for them and be interesting."
A paper released at SIGGRAPH 2008 indicated that 25 Larrabee cores running at 1GHz could potentially run Gears of War at 60fps at a resolution of 1600x1200 - this is believed to be a conservative estimation as the cores are widely expected to run faster than 1GHz.
Samples of Larrabee are expected to be unveiled towards the end of the year, with the first video card based around the technology expected in late 2009 or 2010 - just in time for the
Responding to the claims, Nvidia poured cold water over Intel's claims that the x86 instruction set will allow developers to tap into the true potential, pointing to the struggles that they currently face with multi-core CPU architecture.
Let the next-gen GPU battle commence - even if it is a little early.
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