While Larrabee information is still incredibly sparse just months from 2010 (the still purported release date of Larrabee), during Renee James’ keynote today she demonstrated a couple of new examples of Larrabee at work.

IDF 2009: Two more Larrabee videos shown - Graphics Cards 3

This image is SUPPOSED to look grainy as it shows Larrabee implementing a film grain effect on this 3D rendered scene.  In the video it was an animation moving down the hallway.  Intel’s claim on dominance here is that while this effect takes about 100 lines of code to implement on a typical DirectX GPU, it only took 25 lines of code for Larrabee.

IDF 2009: Two more Larrabee videos shown - Graphics Cards 4

This video showed a torus knot being rendered with what Intel called a “list render target” to demonstrate how the transparency effects are rendered correctly.  If you remember last year Intel showed an example using a dragon wing and the same effect.  Again, Intel’s push is that while this effect only takes 100 lines of code on Larrabee, it would take a complex 500 lines of DirectX code. 

What is interesting about this demonstration is that it is basically the same technique as the order independent transparency demos that AMD was showing off with DirectX 11.  Perhaps Intel’s advantages in this regard are less valuable as the DX model advances.  Similarly, running with fewer lines of code is great, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is faster or more efficient.  Eventually Intel will have to give us some hard numbers on this technology in order for us to continue to believe it has a chance in the graphics market.

That will likely be all we hear about Larrabee from IDF which is kind of a let down.  With Larrabee supposedly coming out in 2010 I expected to see real details about the technology, product information, clock rates, core counts, etc.  It would almost be assured that Larrabee will be delayed somewhat based on the company’s initial prognossis.  HOW long will depend on Intel’s hardware and software advancements over the next 6-12 months because as far as I hear, neither is really where they need to be to compete with modern parts from ATI or NVIDIA.

UPDATE:  Here is an Intel video that shows the first Larrabee ray tracing demo from IDF.

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