News Intel Announces New Programmable Accelerator Card

bit_user

Splendid
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From virtually 10 years ago
What does that have to do with anything?

If you watch the video, it's their Larrabee graphics card (or maybe the generation after), which they cancelled before it ever saw the light of day. It was rumored to have graphics performance that wasn't competitive with existing GPUs of the day, and I suspect it also might've cost too much.


After that, they continued the program without any graphics hardware or connectors, and rebranded it as Xeon Phi.


Last year, they abruptly cancelled Xeon Phi. Xeon Phi was a jack of all trades, but a master of none. After Intel announced their Xe dGPUs, bought Altera and Nervana, and with their mainstream Xeons having up to 28 cores, there was pretty much no niche where Xeon Phi wouldn't be surpassed by other Intel products.


Larrabee is dead. Its closest descendant is the Xeon Scalable line (originating with Skylake-SP), as it was the first to implement a mesh communications topology and AVX-512, both of which they inherited.

Of any of their existing/former products, the Xe dGPUs will likely most resemble their iGPUs. They killed Larrabee because it wasn't competitive with Nvidia. They're not going to bring it back in the form of Xe or anything else.


As the article says, this new compute card is FPGA-based, which are not new (as you said), and unlike any of the above.

 
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bit_user

Splendid
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BTW, Linus is a really good salesman. After watching that video, even I almost wanted one. Except, he doesn't realize that GPUs have long been as programmable as he's saying Larrabee was.

For instance, it's not that existing AMD cards can't do ray tracing, just that it would be too slow to be worthwhile. A lot of graphics is like that - once somebody puts some fixed-function logic to enable a particular feature, it's not practical to use software emulation, since any games written to use the feature are expecting the performance of the fixed-function implementation.
 

bit_user

Splendid
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Its too slow to be worthwile on rtx cards too lol.
But I trust you get my point, which is that if a game is (barely) playable with RTX, then imagine the same game at 1/3rd or 1/10th the speed. Definitely unplayable.

So, it's not enough just to be able to implement new features - they need to run at approximately the expected speed, or you still basically can't use them.
 
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