X-bit labs: Don’t you think that decision to fully rely on computational power of Larrabee and not install traditional GPU components, such as render-back ends and others, are a bit risky in terms of performance?
Nick Knupffer: Your statement is not entirely accurate – although we have tried to get rid of all fixed function hardware – we still have hardware HD video decoders and texture samplers. This is because in the worst case scenario, the Larrabee cores were 40 times slower than fixed function texture samplers. So we believe we are making the right performance decisions.
X-bit labs: It is obvious that it is crucial to be the first with introduction of next-generation products. But it looks like Larrabee will not be the first DirectX 11 chip on the market. How do you plan to compete against rivals?
Nick Knupffer: We have not announced specific DirectX version support. However Larrabee features a software renderer, this means that supporting any API is simply a question of updating the driver.
X-bit labs: Will we see a family or Larrabee graphics processors, or will there be one chip targeting specific market segment?
Nick Knupffer: Wait and see!
X-bit labs: Based on what is known about Larrabee today, its power consumption is going to be very high, which will make it uneasy to adopt the product for mobile computers. Do you think that importance of discrete GPUs for mobile is dropping?
Nick Knupffer: We have made no announcements with regard to power.
X-bit labs: There are two ways of creating high-end graphics cards these days: one way is to place two GPUs on graphics card, another way is to create a very large high-end GPU. Which of the ways does Intel plan to use?
Nick Knupffer: Wait and see.
X-bit labs: Modern multi-GPU configurations are homogeneous multi-chip setups. Perhaps, it makes sense to look at so-called heterogeneous multi-chip configurations (e.g., one chip does load-balancing, other chip computes, etc)?
Nick Knupffer: You could in theory do this with current GPU’s. We have made no announcement with regards to Larrabee.
X-bit labs: Do you have any plans to introduce integrated graphics processors (akin to Nvidia’s Quadro ) for professional market segments?
Nick Knupffer: CAD users tend to need huge 3D capabilities in their hardware – they will likely use discrete cards.
X-bit labs: But would you expect IGPs to reach the level when they are good enough even for CAD users in the foreseeable future?
Nick Knupffer: It is not our primary design target, but we are always assessing opportunities in new market segments.
X-bit labs: Thank you very much for interesting and informative answers, Nick!