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Intel Corp. will start educating software developers to use its code-named Larrabee graphics processing units (GPU) efficiently and utilize their unique capabilities at Siggraph conference due in early August ’09. This is virtually the first time when Intel plans to publicly reveal ways of advanced utilization of Larrabee among more or less wide audience.

During the presentation entitled” Preparing for Larrabee”, Intel will discuss Larrabee architecture as well as ways to program the Larrabee graphics processors. Thanks to compatibility with x86 instruction set as well as Larrabee new instructions (LNI), Intel’s first graphics processors in more than a decade enables a greater degree of programmability than previous GPUs. However, the opportunity to innovate presents a challenge: how can developers leverage their existing codebase and assets on this platform whilst opening up avenues to exploit the hardware?

During the presentation, the representatives for Intel will present some of the approaches available, along with insights into how developers can get ready to leverage them. Three fundamental approaches are covered: optimizing graphics API usage for the hardware’s unique features, sharing data between Direct3D and a Larrabee native application and writing pure Larrabee native applications.

In another presentation called “SIMD Programming with Larrabee” Intel plans to present some of the key features of LNI with particular emphasis on their utility in graphics applications. The material is aimed at developers already familiar, but not necessarily expert, with SIMD programming and C++.

This is practically the first time when Intel intends to go in-depth regarding Larrabee peculiarities in public. Considering the fact that the world’s largest chipmaker plans to initiate shipments of Larrabee in the first half of 2010, it is pretty late to start educating developers regarding its unique capabilities. In practice, this will mean that a significant number of game developers will hardly utilize Larrabee’s advanced features inline with its actual launch.

Siggraph conference will be held from the 3rd to the 7th August, 2009, whereas the Siggraph exhibition are scheduled for 4 – 6 August, 2009. Both events will be held in Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Tags: Intel, Larrabee, LNI, DirectX

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