- Spare a thought for AMD and NVIDIA. They have been happily smacking each other upside the head for a decade. But at least they have been doing so safe in the knowledge that their GPUs are distinct from - and inherently superior in graphics processing terms - to CPUs.
At least, that used to be the case. Intel has now unveiled Larrabee, a co-processor based on an entirely new approach to graphics processing. If Intel has done its sums correctly, not only will the very deﬁnition of the GPU be unceremoniously defenestrated, but also AMD and NVIDIA's graphics chips could even be pummelled to the very brink of existence.
If that sounds like hubris, try this for size. Larrabee could also tear up the rulebook for CPUs, too. That's right, a single new architecture might just take over as ultimate all-round processor, eventually cannibalising sales of Intel's own conventional CPUs.
What exactly is this deathly destroyer, this harbinger of doom made manifest in 45nm silicon? Some sort of retro-engineered alien technology? Well, here's the really hilarious bit. In simple terms, it's just a metric crapload of old Pentium MMX processors crammed into a single processor die and mounted on a PCI Express board much like any other graphics card.
Exactly how many of these cores Larrabee contains...