Intel briefing visualization future

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Ashlee Vance has been spending time in Intel’s headquarters, being offered lots of Kool-Aid. The latest flavor is visualization.

A product code-named Larrabee sits at the heart of Intel’s visualization push. Intel refuses to say much about the part other than to describe it as a “many-core,” re-programmable processor that will work as an x86-based standalone graphics product. In addition, Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini, speaking to investors, said Larrabee will include a new vector processing unit and a new vector instruction set.

…If you’re SGI, Intel’s new attention to the visualization market is both sad and encouraging.

I think SGI should definitely be concerned about competition from Intel’s deep pockets. That said, I’m not at all convinced there is still a business in visualization hardware that’s so differentiated from the advancements needed to support gaming that it deserves its own hardware.

I think there are still significant challenges in visualization that need to be addressed, but many of these require new approaches and smarter algorithms, not more hardware (for example, even if you had enough hardware to visualize the nodes in a 10 billion node mesh, you can’t process that much data visually).