Intel in talks with potential Larrabee partners

Written by Tim Smalley

April 9, 2008 | 11:30

Tags: #board #larrabee #partners #talks

Companies: #intel

After speaking with several key Taiwanese add-in-board makers, it is clear that Intel is already in talks with high-ranking executives at a number of companies as it starts to plan the launch of one or more Larrabee-based discrete graphics cards.

We understand that talks are in the very early stages, but it’s now clearer than ever that Intel will ship Larrabee-based products through several partners.

It’s strange that the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai last week was rather a non-event from a news reporting perspective, because almost everything that Intel discussed during the event had already been disclosed.

That said our talk with Andrew Chien, Director of Intel Research, last week was an insightful one and it quickly became apparent that the chip giant has created a team dedicated to what it calls ‘visual computing’ projects… like Larrabee.

And since talking with Chien, we have also learned that Intel has assembled a brand new team of driver developers for the many-core architecture. This is a different group to the one behind the current integrated graphics chipset driver development.

It’s pleasing to hear that this is the case, but we have to say that driver support is still one of the biggest question marks over Larrabee because, at least from a graphics driver perspective, support hasn’t been that great in the past.

There’s obviously still quite a way to go before the first Larrabee-based products launch, but this latest information suggests that the cogs are already very much in motion. It’ll be interesting to see which add-in-partners Intel does manage to land in the run up to the launch – do you think the chip giant will be able to land partners that are currently exclusive to either AMD or Nvidia? Share your thoughts with us in the forums.
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