'Platform war' hits PC as Nvidia airs Larrabee concerns

'Platform war' hits PC as Nvidia airs Larrabee concerns
Michael French

By Michael French

August 13th 2008 at 2:52PM

"Developers have expressed frustration and disappointment" with Intel for 'many years' claims graphics giant

Who would have thought that the back-and-forth snappy comments usually reserved for fanboys on forums arguing the toss over 360 vs PS3 would have spilt over into the more hardcore PC world?

But that's exactly what has happened today as Nvidia has issued a lengthy statement to the press looking to stir scepticism over Intel's Larrabee multi-core GPU/CPU hybrid.

Intel has started to unveil more details about its Larrabee processor at this week's Siggraph event, and we've just today published an interview with the firm where a developer relations rep talks up its work with developers.

Nvidia, however, is not impressed with Intel's attempt to expand into its GPU market - and says that not only is the technology too much of a disruption, but doesn't make sense business wise.

"To date, Intel has not described Larrabee's development environment. While focusing on one aspect of the architecture ‐ the X86 instruction set ‐ any differences or new challenges on top of the existing problems with multi‐threading have yet to be revealed. With a new SSE architecture, new software layers to manage threads, perhaps another new language with Ct ‐ developers are not simply using the X86 instruction set‐‐they need to learn the way around a different computing architecture. Parallel computing problems are not solved with device level instruction sets, these problems are solved in computing languages with a computing architecture that is quick to learn and easy to use.  

"Intel has spent a lot of energy telling the world that the GPU is dying or that it is not a growing market ‐ why then are they investing so heavily on Larrabee and talking so much about it? Larrabee, like Nvidia GPUs, has enormous floating point processing power. Wouldn’t this encourage all the supercomputing clusters in the world to adopt GPU/Larrabee‐style architectures and subsequently hurt Intel’s CPU market?" asks the Nvidia statement.

You can read the full statement from Nvidia here.

The statement comes as Intel says it hopes Larrabee will be used in the next-generation of game consoles.