It was meant to signal the start of a brave new dawn in the graphics industry, but Intel's Larrabee has ultimately fallen flat on its face.
The chip giant has confirmed to DailyTech that Larrabee has been cancelled as it struggled to keep up with the price/performance benchmarks being set by rivals ATI and Nvidia.
"Larrabee silicon and software development are behind where we hoped to be at this point in the project," said Intel in a email to DailyTech. "As a result, our first Larrabee product will not be launched as a standalone discrete graphics product, but rather be used as a software development platform for internal and external use. While we are disappointed that the product is not yet where we expected, we remain committed to delivering world-class many-core graphics products to our customers. Additional plans for discrete graphics products will be discussed some time in 2010."
Well. That's. Disappointing. Larrabee was a hugely ambitious project and something of a CPU/GPU hybrid, but the writing had seemed on the wall for some time. Most obvious to this was Intel's declared intention to break the two teraFLOPS performance barrier at launch next year, but ATI has already passed five teraFLOPS with the Radeon HD 5970. Riyad had also already expressed his Larrabee doubts back in September when Intel gave the GPU a public demonstration.
Let's hope Intel's "additional plans for discrete graphics products... sometime in 2010" can get our juices flowing again...