Shultz’s reasoning for the time frame shift was that Intel didn’t know exactly how many iterations and steppings of the chip and design would be necessary to reach a stable product that met all of Intel’s goals for performance and power consumption.
The short interview also indicated that Larrabee will be released as a family of products, not just a single high-end offering. This means we could see a range of quantities of x86 cores in the design from 8 to as high as 32 cores. (Note: we first showed an image of a Larrabee die with some detail earlier this week!)
Somewhat forebodingly, Shultz did apparently make a comment that Intel is taking more time in order to compete with competitors NVIDIA and AMD in terms of energy efficiency; AMD’s Radeon HD 4800-series of parts was specifically mentioned. One of the key issues many developers and press have questioned Intel on is its ability to squeeze as much x86 horsepower onto a reasonably-sized die area and get the performance they need without blowing current power consumption standards out of the water.