Larrabee in PS4

By: David Kanter (dkanter.delete@this.realworldtech.com), February 5, 2009 12:56 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
According to our friend Charlie:
http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/851/1050851/intel-design-playstation-gpu

This is a huge win for Intel, as a whole and the LRB team specifically.

It's Intel's first real crack at breaking into a competitive console market. Sure, they had the CPU in the xbox, but that was a last minute effort by MS - so it's natural they turned to Intel as a partner. That's a bit different than the competitive bidding process that Sony, MS and Nintendo go through today.

The console market is pretty important overall to Intel. In 2007, Intel sold around 220M CPUs. In that same year, there were roughly 17M consoles sold, with 34M high performance CPUs and GPUs. It's not a huge market opportunity by volume, but an extra 10% is still interesting...especially since it's a sales win that will last for probably 3-4 years.

Just as importantly, every inroad that Intel can make into consoles is one less win for their principal manufacturing competitor (IBM). Sure, taking a socket from NVIDIA doesnt't reduce IBM's silicon foot print, but it does create opportunities further down the road.

It obviously has a more direct impact on NVIDIA and ATI, who were probably the main competitors for the PS4 GPU.

From the LRB perspective, this has huge advantages. First of all, they've managed to guarantee that even if LRB doesn't sell a single GPU add-in card, it will still ship ~4M units/year. That's huge because then Intel can justify using more advanced process technology, and dedicated circuit design efforts.

To draw a comparison to Itanium is instructive at this point. Itanium never got the same amount of effort as real high volume products, and it won't even be remotely close to process parity till Poulson (assuming no delays). Why? Because at the end of the day, selling a million Itanium's only requires about 10K wafers, which is less than a month worth of production...probably more like a week.

Now, if you're talking about 4M units/year, that's a full month of wafer starts right there, plus any incremental GPU opportunities. So one way that LRB will differ from IPF is that the volume will be a lot higher, justifying more design effort and investment.


From a marketing and software standpoint, it's also essential as Charlie pointed out. Intel wants to differentiate LRB by providing a more robust API that enables unique visual effects, and by running standard DX11, OpenGL 3, etc.

If Intel wanted traction for native larrabee, they were looking at basically paying people to build game engines for it. That's expensive, and as Itanium demonstrated - you can't pay people enough to use something they don't really want. Itanium had a lot of traction initially with EDA tools, and it all disappeared in favor of x86-64. So you can't just pay people to port software and expect it to 'stick'.

What you need to do is provide long lasting incentive for software folks to use your platform. Guaranteeing an available market of 3-5M console users is a damn good first step.

Now that's no guarantee that game vendors will use special features for LRB. There's still a least common denominator pull on SW companies, because they want to maximize their addressable market. But that will likely be offset by some incentives from both Sony and Intel.

David
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TopicPosted ByDate
Larrabee in PS4David Kanter02/05/09 12:56 PM
  Sony are denying itPaul02/05/09 12:58 PM
    Sony are denying itGroo02/05/09 03:47 PM
      Sony are denying itVincent Diepeveen02/05/09 10:39 PM
      Viva la TechnoratiRichard Krehbiel02/06/09 06:25 AM
        Viva la TechnoratiGroo02/06/09 08:19 AM
  Larrabee in PS4anon02/05/09 01:53 PM
  Larrabee in PS4Anonib02/05/09 08:16 PM
    Larrabee in PS4RagingDragon02/06/09 12:42 AM
      Larrabee in PS4mpx02/06/09 01:16 AM
        Larrabee in PS4Anonymous02/06/09 08:40 PM
          Larrabee in PS4Jukka Larja02/07/09 06:16 AM
            Larrabee in PS4Anonymous02/07/09 01:14 PM
              Larrabee in PS4Jukka Larja02/07/09 11:42 PM
    Larrabee in PS4Groo02/06/09 08:28 AM
      Larrabee in PS4anonib02/06/09 10:28 AM
        Larrabee in PS4mpx02/06/09 01:50 PM
      Larrabee in PS4Nicholas Blachford02/08/09 05:35 AM
      Larrabee in PS4anon202/08/09 11:28 AM
        Larrabee in PS4mpx02/08/09 12:12 PM
        Larrabee in PS4Vincent Diepeveen02/08/09 12:31 PM
        Larrabee in PS4Groo02/08/09 02:37 PM
          Larrabee in PS4Linus Torvalds02/08/09 02:50 PM
            Larrabee in PS4Groo02/08/09 06:13 PM
              Larrabee in PS4hobold02/09/09 05:41 AM
                Larrabee in PS4Michael S02/09/09 07:47 AM
                  Larrabee in PS4hobold02/09/09 08:25 AM
                  Larrabee in PS4sJ02/10/09 03:08 AM
                    Larrabee in PS4Michael S02/10/09 04:32 AM
                      Larrabee in PS4sJ02/10/09 11:28 PM
                        Larrabee in PS4Goffredo Marocchi02/11/09 12:32 AM
                          Larrabee in PS4Michael S02/11/09 01:26 AM
                            Larrabee in PS4sJ02/11/09 10:58 AM
                              Larrabee in PS4Michael S02/11/09 11:49 AM
                                Larrabee in PS4sJ02/11/09 11:50 PM
                                  Larrabee in PS4Michael S02/12/09 01:13 AM
                            Larrabee in PS4sJ02/11/09 11:58 PM
                    Larrabee in PS4hobold02/11/09 06:07 AM
              Larrabee in PS4anon202/09/09 10:10 AM
                Larrabee in PS4Ungo02/09/09 02:02 PM
                  Larrabee in PS4anon202/09/09 02:58 PM
                Larrabee in PS4Nicholas Blachford02/09/09 04:56 PM
                  Larrabee in PS4Greg Pfister02/09/09 09:35 PM
                  Larrabee in PS4anonib02/10/09 10:06 AM
                    Larrabee in PS4anonib02/10/09 10:09 AM
                  Larrabee in PS4Linus Torvalds02/10/09 02:10 PM
                    Larrabee in PS4Linus Torvalds02/10/09 08:12 PM
                      cc, shortcomings of PIOMichael S02/11/09 02:29 AM
                        cc, shortcomings of PIOanon02/11/09 10:52 AM
                          cc, shortcomings of PIOMichael S02/11/09 11:40 AM
                            cc, shortcomings of PIOHoward Chu02/11/09 01:49 PM
                              cc, shortcomings of PIOMichael S02/11/09 04:16 PM
                                cc, shortcomings of PIOanon02/11/09 05:08 PM
                                  cc, shortcomings of PIOMichael S02/11/09 05:15 PM
                            cc, shortcomings of PIORicardo B02/11/09 03:12 PM
                              cc, shortcomings of PIOMichael S02/12/09 02:59 AM
                            cc, shortcomings of PIOanon02/11/09 04:36 PM
                              cc, shortcomings of PIOMichael S02/11/09 05:11 PM
                                cc, shortcomings of PIOanon02/11/09 07:13 PM
                        cc, shortcomings of PIORicardo B02/11/09 03:08 PM
                          cc, shortcomings of PIOMichael S02/12/09 02:25 AM
                            cc, shortcomings of PIOJS02/12/09 07:09 AM
                              cc, shortcomings of PIOMichael S02/12/09 09:16 AM
                      Larrabee in PS4Ian Ameline02/11/09 10:18 AM
                    Larrabee in PS4Greg Pfister02/10/09 09:26 PM
                    Larrabee in PS4Nicholas Blachford02/22/09 03:11 PM
    Larrabee in PS4TruePath02/17/09 11:44 AM
  Larrabee In PS4? So What’s the Future of IBM’s Cell?Blut02/10/09 03:27 AM
    Larrabee In PS4? So What’s the Future of IBM’s Cell?Eric Bron02/11/09 09:40 AM
      Larrabee In PS4? So What’s the Future of IBM’s Cell?Greg Pfister02/11/09 03:19 PM
        Larrabee In PS4? So What’s the Future of IBM’s Cell?Eric Bron02/11/09 11:49 PM
   PS4 Secretsedepot02/15/09 07:07 PM
     PS4 Secretsanon02/15/09 08:00 PM
      Electroshock Therapyslacker02/16/09 03:56 AM
      10GbE priceanon202/16/09 06:21 PM
        10GbE price will go down with 10GbaseTDoug Siebert02/16/09 11:44 PM
          10GbE price will go down with 10GbaseTanon02/17/09 12:57 AM
          10GbE price will go down with 10GbaseTanonx02/17/09 03:39 AM
          10GbE price will go down with 10GbaseTMichael S02/17/09 08:56 AM
            10GbE price will go down with 10GbaseTanon02/17/09 12:46 PM
              10GbE price will go down with 10GbaseTRicardo B02/18/09 04:07 PM
                10GbE price will go down with 10GbaseTDoug Siebert02/18/09 10:38 PM
                  10GbE price will go down with 10GbaseTRicardo B02/19/09 09:33 AM
                    10GbE price will go down with 10GbaseTAnonymous Sysadmin02/19/09 10:46 AM
            CX4 - technically good, but a bad callDavid Kanter02/18/09 01:20 AM
              CX4 - already popularmpx02/18/09 07:12 AM
              CX4 - technically good, but a bad callanon02/18/09 07:29 AM
                CX4 - technically good, but a bad callDoug Siebert02/18/09 10:58 PM
          10GbE price will go down with 10GbaseTWes Felter02/17/09 01:41 PM
  Larrabee in PS4Anonymous Donkey02/18/09 11:43 PM
    Larrabee in PS4anon02/19/09 08:34 AM
      Opteron happenedslacker02/19/09 10:13 AM
        Opteron happenedDavid Kanter02/19/09 02:14 PM
          Opteron happeneda reader02/19/09 02:26 PM
            NewisysDavid Kanter02/19/09 02:31 PM
            Nope, SPARC SunFires (6800 series) (NT)slacker02/20/09 08:35 AM
          Opteron happenedslacker02/20/09 09:10 AM
            Opteron happenedDavid Kanter02/20/09 10:55 AM
              Opteron happenedslacker02/20/09 03:23 PM
                Opteron happenedsomeone02/20/09 05:36 PM
                  Opteron happenedNobody02/20/09 08:12 PM
                    Opteron happenedsomeone02/20/09 11:14 PM
                      Opteron happenedEduardoS02/21/09 07:25 AM
                        Opteron happenedLinus Torvalds02/21/09 08:10 AM
                          Opteron happenedTerry A. Gray02/21/09 02:48 PM
                          Opteron happenedJouni Osmala02/21/09 10:55 PM
                        Opteron happenedsomeone02/21/09 08:47 AM
                  Opteron happenedanonymous02/20/09 10:19 PM
                Opteron happenedNobody02/20/09 08:10 PM
                  Intel, AMD, IBM design teamsDavid Kanter02/21/09 03:11 AM
                    Intel, AMD, IBM design teamsJoe Chang02/21/09 02:20 PM
                    Intel, AMD, IBM design teamsanon02/22/09 04:16 AM
                      Intel, AMD, IBM design teamsDavid Kanter02/22/09 04:56 AM
              Opteron happenedanonymous02/21/09 10:50 AM
        Opteron happenedAnonymous Donkey02/20/09 02:02 AM
          Opteron happenedslacker02/20/09 08:29 AM
    Fister the Itanium enemyAM02/19/09 08:55 AM
      Fister the Itanium enemyPaul02/19/09 04:58 PM
        Fister the Itanium enemyJoe Chang02/19/09 07:01 PM
      Fister the Itanium enemyAnonymous Donkey02/20/09 02:18 AM
        Fister the Itanium enemyJoe Chang02/20/09 01:09 PM
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