While in the short term Intel’s ambitions concerning 3D are limited to their offering a G45 that is 70% more powerful than the G35, what comes after is much more interesting.
In the conference call that followed their announcement of financial results, Douglas Freedman from American Technology Research had the good idea of enquiring about the Larrabee development project. As for IGPs, Paul Otellini, the CEO of the Californian giant said that solutions 10 times more powerful than current ones would arrive in 2010.
The first samples of the Larrabee are awaited for the end of this year. This will then enable concentration on the software aspect as well as the sending of some samples to developers. Thus Intel hopes to launch a product that will be fully equipped for the end of 2009. More specifically, this means we will have to wait almost 2 years before Intel tries to rival Nvidia or ATI in the high end.
The big question remains whether this chip will be produced in 45nm or 32nm. You may recall the RV670 which currently equips the Radeon HD 3800 is produced in 55nm. 45nm could therefore lack a little ambition for a graphic chip whose release will come 24 months later.
On the other hand, given the information already unveiled on the subject and the fact that it will also be in 2009 that Intel will release its first 32nm CPU, the Westmere and a die-shrink of its Nehalem architecture, it’s more likely that it will be a 45nm GPU.
One last but not a minor detail is that ATI and Nvidia DirectX 11 GPU should already be launched in the second half of 2009 or first half of 2010. Microsoft's choice in the level flexibility and operating architecture for its next API will be an influence on the growing competition between these three companies.