Hardware collector YJFY posted an image of what they claim is Intel’s second generation Larrabee graphics card. Intel’s Larrabee 2 graphics board is ultimately intended to be based on the chip known as Knights Corner, and this is the first (believed) public image of the device.
The claimed second-generation Larrabee graphics cards feature processors that look exactly like Intel’s Knights Corner, which was demonstrated by Intel executives at the SC11 conference in November 2011. This processor is his late 2011 production engineering sample featuring QBAY stepping. It reportedly has 60 cores and runs at 1.00 GHz, corresponding to Intel’s KNC specs. Unlike the production Xeon Phi ‘Knights Corner’ offering, this processor is paired with his 4GB of GDDR5 memory.
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This board is clearly a very early evaluation sample, with diagnostic LEDs, multiple connectors for probing, and various jumpers. It also has a DVI connector commonly used for video output. Tom Forsyth, developer of his Larrabee project at Intel, once said Said Given that the company’s Knights Corner silicon still features GPU parts such as graphics output and texture samples, it’s no surprise to see a DVI connector on a KNC-based board.
We’re not sure if the card pictured is actually a Larrabee 2 based on Knights Corner silicon, but there’s plenty of direct and indirect evidence that we’re dealing with a second generation Larrabee.
“Remember, the KNC is literally the same chip as the LRB2, with a texture sampler and video output port on top of the die,” Forsyth said. “They don’t test them, they don’t turn them on, they don’t expose them to software, but they’re still there – it’s still a graphics-enabled part.”
Intel’s codenamed Larrabee products offer flexible programmability and competitive performance. After Intel decided that Larrabee wasn’t living up to its expectations for graphics workloads (because it was his CPU that had the most graphics capabilities), Intel switched the project entirely to his HPC workloads, giving Xeon Phi was born.
“[In 2005, when Larrabee was conceived, Intel] It required something like a CPU for programming, but the processing power was more like a GPU,” Forsyth said.[…] Larrabee’s design was to be a CPU with very wide SIMD units, and above all to be a really mature CPU — coherent caches, well-ordered memory rules, good memory protection, true Multitasking, real threads, running Linux/FreeBSD, etc.”
But in the end Intel’s Xeon Phi, microphone (many integrated cores) architecture, and other massively parallel CPU architectures (Sony’s Cell, Sun’s Niagara) have failed to deliver competitive performance for Nvidia’s computing GPUs. This is why Intel finally decided to re-enter and introduce the discrete graphics GPU business with Arc GPUs. Proprietary Ponte Vecchio computing GPU.