Is Larrabee going to turn more into a GPU than originally planned?
WORD HAS REACHED our tender ears that Larrabee, the upcoming Intel GPU, will not be quite as generalist as they claim. The fixed function parts will be two HD decoders.
This addition seems like a last minute thing, so it is probably pulled from Intel’s existing IP catalog. The most likely candidate seems to be the G45 decoders, they are small, low power, and have (finally) decent drivers. Then again, does area really matter in a 700+mm^2 chip?
Don’t take this to mean Larrabee is underpowered, it most definitely is not. The GPU can decode HD streams until you get bored watching them, the problem is that it can’t necessarily do so while staying in an acceptable power budget. Having all the cores pump out HD would likely produce enough heat to keep the fans spun way up, and that is death in the HTPC market.