Here is all of the news we’ve collected about Intel Corporation. This mostly includes their (now defunct) Larrabee chipset, as well as their many whitepapers and benchmarks regarding parallelism and their various platforms.
In a move that signals the recent Sandy Bridge announcements are more than just fluff, Intel and NVidia have signed a new licensing agreement for the next 6 years to the tune of $1.5Billion USD and the end of all current legal disputes.
Under the new agreement, Intel will have continued access to NVIDIA’s full range of patents. In return, NVIDIA will receive an aggregate of $1.5 billion in licensing fees, to be paid in annual installments, and retain use of Intel’s patents, consistent with its existing six-year agreement with Intel. This excludes Intel’s proprietary processors, flash memory and certain chipsets for the Intel platform.
This is the first step towards an Intel+NVidia solution to rival the AMD Fusion, although it will be interesting to see what this does for NVidia’s ARM plans.
What is an APU? Well, the short answer is that it is an Accelerated Processing Unit (APU). But what does that really mean? For AMD, it means that a low end graphics processing unit (GPU) is being combined with a traditional x86 CPU.
The real question that I have is, what will this do to NVIDIA? Since AMD is launching its APU, or Fusion line, with a GPU embedded in the CPU, and since Intel is launching Sandy Bridge with a GPU embedded in the CPU, what will NVIDIA do? On the extreme low end, which I define as under $100, I suspect the NVIDIA will lose market share to the point of becoming irrelevant. People buying low end desktops or laptops do not care (or even know) what kind of graphics card the computer has. On the low-, mid- and high-end I expect NVIDIA to still be relevant, as well as in the Quadro line. But how large is that market?
However, the Tesla line might be under some pressure in the next year or so. Imagine a high performance computer with Sandy Bridge or Fusion processors in it. Would you need, or want, to add a 200 Watt Tesla to such a system? After all, with Fusion, you get a one-to-one mapping of GPU with a CPU. We sure do live in exciting times, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. For now, AMD and Intel are in the driver’s seat.
With Fusion technology from AMD, the PC industry will be changed forever. AMD is incorporating multi-core CPU (x86) technology, a powerful DirectX®11-capable discrete-level graphics and parallel processing engine onto a single die to create the first Accelerated Processing Unit (APU). Learn how AMD is doing that here.
This video was taken at SC10 in New Orleans when the New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees was interviewed at the Intel booth. Drew talks about the number of surgeries that he has been through, all due to football, of course. He also talks about whether or not he wants his sons to take up playing football. Is there a Brees dynasty like there is a Manning dynasty in the future?
Seriously, Intel is doing research into augmenting football helmets with sensors to determine when a player is likely to have a concussion. That way the player can be taken out of the game, and injuries reduced. The question was put to Drew, after this video was shot: “Would you take yourself out of the Superbowl if sensors showed you had a concussion?” I give you one guess at his answer. No.
On January 5th at the Consumer Electronics Show, Intel will announce Sandy Bridge. Sandy Bridge is a 32 nm CPU which is combined with an on-die GPU. This on-die GPU shares the L3 cache of the CPU, and doubles the performance of Intel’s HD Graphics today. CNET News is reporting that future MacBooks will be using Intel’s Sandy Bridge for at least some of the models. They are also reporting that AMD might be used in the higher-end models of the future MacBooks.
MacBook models with screen sizes of 13 inches and below are expected to switch to Sandy Bridge-only graphics, while higher-end MacBook Pros are expected to use graphics from Advanced Micro Devices, according to sources. Whether Nvidia will still be present in higher-end models is unclear.
In what might be proof of the earlier rumors about a settlement between NVidia and Intel, NVidia has just announced that an impressive 200 new laptop designs in 2011 will feature Nvidia’s latest mobile chips. Then, Jen-Hsun dropped a little bombshell: several of these will also come with Intel’s own Sandy Bridge.
Chief exec Jen-Hsun Huang has outlined how Nvidia is set to feature in new notebooks next year, which will also feature Intel’s forthcoming Sandy Bridge processor.
This will be similar to NVidia’s current Optimus offerings that mix low-impact/battery-saving chips with high-end graphics chips. Hopefully the new combination will be as seamless.
Big news in the tech sector today is that the Intel & NVidia trial that was supposed to begin on December 6th has possibly been postponed at the request of Intel & NVidia for reasons ‘concerning licensing issues’. Lots of people seem to think this is indication that a settlement is on the horizon.
But much like Lex Luthor and Superman occasionally do in the comics, these bitter enemies have found cause to try to set their difference aside, while facing a common threat. The pair was set to go to battle with each other in a trial starting Dec 6 in Delaware’s Chancery Court. NVIDIA and Intel, though, have asked the court to postpone the trial concerning licensing issues to 2011, buying time for a settlement.
It’s all speculation at this point, but speculation that I hope comes true. Surely by now both Intel & NVidia have realized that neither one can succeed along against the AMD/ATI powerhouse, even though they’re bigger. Intel doesn’t have the graphics that NVidia/ATI have, and NVidia doesn’t have the processors than AMD and Intel have.
In reality, they could just be trying to delay it so that they can spend a happy Christmas without worrying about it.
Possibly to compete against NVidia & PGI’s ‘CUDA x86‘ offering, Intel has announced at SC10 that they have a new OpenCL SDK enabling executing of OpenCL code on Intel x86 Processors, currently only on Windows Vista & Windows 7.
OpenCL* is an emerging standard from the Khronos Group industry consortium. As a Khronos founder and promoter, Intel has made significant contributions to OpenCL* feature set. With the Alpha release of Intel® OpenCL SDK, Intel continues to demonstrate its commitment to parallel computing tools and standards support.
OpenCL still hasn’t achieved the penetration of CUDA, primarily because it’s a bit more difficult to work with and it simply hasn’t had the time that CUDA has had, but this is a huge step toward creating a single truly universal language that runs on AMD GPU’s, NVidia GPU’s, and now Intel CPU’s.
Nicolas Vizerie took a look at Intel’s paper on MorphoLogical Anti-Aliasing (MLAA) recently and became intrigued, but noticed that the original algorithm wasn’t well suited for use with GPU Pixel Shaders. He did some work, and now has a demonstration working on an nVidia 8700MGT.
The original technique is not very suitable to GPU with pixel shaders alone, so some adaptation was needed. The reason is that the algorithm scans edges and patches pixel based on the edge length, and the configuration at edge extremities (to sum up). Edges extremities can be far from the current pixel, so using a pixel shader (pure parallel model) requires each pixel to recompute the distance from itself to the edge extremities. For an edge of length N, the complexity becomes O(N^2), which can lead to performance problems. The obvious solution is to compute a bilateral distance texture. T
A pair of whitepapers from Intel showcase that you can still do plenty of graphics and media things without a GPU, and do it quote well.
The first one is more of a whitepaper, where the LA-based “Bandito Brothers” media company talks about using Xeon processors with Adobe Creative Suite 5 to process some of their massive work. For example, in a recent Mountain Dew spot shot with Canon 5D’s and edited via DPX:
Just how big are they? According to Rosenberg, the files occupy 8 MB per frame. So at 24 fps, 192 MB of hard disk space is required per second of video. A 30-second commercial, not counting outtakes, would be stored in a file about 5.8 GB in size. And feature films are generally a bit longer than 30 seconds. “Let’s just say they take up some major real estate,” said Rosenberg. “In the past, we needed a week to do the work. And now it takes just a couple of days to do conversions or set up files.” Returning to the workflow, Rosenberg describes the process following the editing: “Next we kick out a single file that represents the commercial without any color correction. That file then goes onto our colorcorrection system, the IRIDAS SpeedGrade system, which grades the files. Having the faster processors means more layers, more effects, and more color correction passes can be done in real time. Part of that is a combination of the processor and the graphics cards.”
The second one is more technical, talking about Intel’s MP4/AVC Decoding library.
The MP4 file format (ISO/IEC 14496-14:2003) is a multi-media container format that is commonly used to store digital video and audio streams. This whitepaper describes the process of decoding MP4 files using the Intel Media SDK. The following code examples will build upon the existing DirectShow decode sample filter that ships with the Intel Media SDK. The popular open source application Media Player Classic will be used to load the new filter and manage the playback.
Looks like Intel is trying pretty hard to dispel the many talking points about GPU’s in CS5 and video encoding by showing how well the CPU works. The results are impressive, and I can’t imagine dealing with data at a rate of 192MB per Second. Of course, the entire 5.8G could fit in memory on a Quadro6000, but you probably wouldn’t be able to do much with it then.
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