An Update On Our Graphics-related Programs

“Graphics.” I think the high-tech industry needs to do a better job defining this omnibus word. At a minimum, graphics can be divided into creating, consuming (viewing), interacting, playing and connecting digital media – visually rich computing experiences. I mean, three billion photos are added to Facebook every month, and online video viewing more than tripled last year alone. And that doesn’t even address all the media and content everyone is creating – You Tube alone has gazillions of videos.

At Intel, there are two undeniable trends or tenets that are driving us in these areas: the explosive rise of media – specifically HD video, and the rapid shift to wireless mobile computers that consume less power.

Our current 2010 Intel® Core™ processors integrate what we call Intel HD Graphics, and offer a best-in-class solution for the vast majority of how we all use our computers. If you choose our processors, you get a great visual experience for the bulk of what you do. We’ve even added entirely new features, such as Wireless Display right to your TV. Intel’s processor graphics will continue to be enhanced – with more surprises – in our 2011 Intel Core processor family, code-named Sandy Bridge.

In a nutshell, Intel has three visual computing efforts. The first is the aforementioned processor graphics. Since we began integrating graphics inside our chipsets back in 1999 (and now integrate graphics inside our processor products), the majority of PC users are now using integrated solutions. Second, for our smaller Intel® Atom™ processor and System on Chip efforts, and third, a many-core, programmable Intel architecture and first product both of which we referred to as Larrabee for graphics and other workloads. Here’s the latest:

1. Our top priority continues to be around delivering an outstanding processor that addresses every day, general purpose computer needs and provides leadership visual computing experiences via processor graphics. We are further boosting funding and employee expertise here, and continue to champion the rapid shift to mobile wireless computing and HD video – we are laser-focused on these areas.

2. We are also executing on a business opportunity derived from the Larrabee program and Intel research in many-core chips. This server product line expansion is optimized for a broader range of highly parallel workloads in segments such as high performance computing. Intel VP Kirk Skaugen will provide an update on this next week at ISC 2010 in Germany.

3. We will not bring a discrete graphics product to market, at least in the short-term. As we said in December, we missed some key product milestones. Upon further assessment, and as mentioned above, we are focused on processor graphics, and we believe media/HD video and mobile computing are the most important areas to focus on moving forward.

4. We will also continue with ongoing Intel architecture-based graphics and HPC-related R&D and proof of concepts.

As important is our factory network and manufacturing lead. Simply, our process technology advantages constantly deliver higher performing chips at lower power, smaller sizes and reduced costs. We will apply this strength to bring consumers the most visually rich computing experience you can get.

We’re interested in your feedback. Do you use our laptop more for media and content viewing, creation and/or high-end gaming? Is size, weight, screen resolution, battery life, high-end gaming and/or price your most important factor(s) when buying PCs, laptops, netbooks and other PC-like devices?

26 Responses to An Update On Our Graphics-related Programs

  1. James says:

    Battery life, weight and size are important. What’s the point of a portable computer if you’re tethered to the wall when you pull it out?
    I need a decent sized screen and resolution for productivity and relaxing – being able to display on the hotel TV for HD is nice, too.
    That said price is the #1 bullet point. If it does all that and costs $1k, I’m not getting one. $500-750 for a device I’ll keep 18-24months, yes. For $1k+ it has to last upto 36mo., and the industry moves to fast for that. It’ll be a boat anchor before I’ve got my money’s worth.

  2. NGOHQ.com says:

    Given the fact that even DX8 apps doesn’t run on Intel IGPs, we wonder what is that “graphics programs” you are referring to.

  3. Eli says:

    Since Intel IGP still is very poor in terms of 3d gaming performace and the 3d features those games use I much prefer a hybrid approch for a laptop. Hybrid is the key since I primarily want the better battery life as when I’m unplugged I’m not really gaming but don’t want to be limited by Intel’s IGP. And in that sense I don’t really want Intel graphics to get any better for gaming as I want Intel graphics to stay as low energy as possible

  4. Zen says:

    What I really want is a quality iPad-class [and size] x86 mobile tablet running Windows 7. The HP Slate was close but it’s up in the air as to what is to become of it. Why not a netbook or a net-tablet then? The slate or iPad has only a single screen built for mobile computing – there’s no extra baggage like a bulky [optional] keyboard and/or a two piece unit getting in the way.
    There’s talk that Windows 7 is not built for mobile computing and or might be power hungry causing HP to abandon the slate for now. I choose Windows 7 just for familiarity and legacy software operation – so you can continue your computing experience from PC to gadget.
    Surely refining Win 7 for mobile computing should be as easy as removing redundant code and features for the aging PC era.
    Battery life and weight is important. Dual batteries may double operation life. Added weight might be minimal. Ultra low voltage processors might be here now but it may be that we have to look to more powerful processors that use even far less energy. Competition never sleeps but constantly plots to take over.
    Higher screen resolution is good but what really draws me in is the quality… at least you know instantly which device is better – the one that has the better quality screen and it’s more pleasing to the eyes. A device that has a poor quality screen makes you wonder what else in it is of poor quality.
    Pricing is the key. Earlier PC-tablets failed but cheaper netbooks took off. Lower prices will cause demand while higher prices does the opposite. So one has to find the equilibrium between cost and profit.
    And finally as the world shifts from bulky PCs to ultra light and thin mobile computing devices, the products that can provide a solid media computing experience should be the future.

  5. Madeleine says:

    27 years old, female, quazi-gamer. Just built a new pc with an i5 750 overclocked to 3.8ghz, and I put a radeon 5770 gfx card in it.
    I shop price/performance, and my graphic / processing decisions are based around this simple statement “Will this combination of parts run the most popular MMO at the time on my 1920×1200 monitor at native resolution so it’s not all nastyblurry, without being all stutterylaggy?”
    If intel cpu-igps reach that point in a few years, then I’ll stop buying graphics cards. Simple as that.

  6. Edward says:

    @Eli -
    That is exactly my thought as well.
    In an ideal world, The IGP should be VERY low power, with superior 2D Rendering performance, Programmable DSP that allows Many if not all of the FFmpeg gets hardware accleration. 3D Performance that is focused on Browser canvas and other Vector accleration. With final consideration for anything gaming related.
    As it currently stand, the IGP size is fairly large that provide performance we dont need. And when we do need performance it is not capable anyway. So why waste transistors on it? Intel could give us a Extra Core or L2 cache was CPU performance.
    And final Notes. The worst thing about Intel HD is not the Hardware itself. Is the fact Drivers for Intel HD is poor, slow to update.

  7. Michael Simmons says:

    I’m sad for the masses that probably missed out on cheap 500+ quality double precision Gflops.
    I’m sad for Nvidia that probably over engineered compute support in fermi in response to the perceived threat of competition from Larrabee.

  8. Kris Tuttle says:

    So this says: You won’t be able to play games but you will be able to watch a movie, at least in 2D. Inspiring!
    Intel leads in CPU and process technology, we give them that. But they seem unable to focus on innovation outside of this space.

  9. Steven Zuckermann says:

    I am glad that Intel recognizes that it needs to focus on HD Video. I own two Clarkdale systems, which I intended to use for Bluray disk watching. Unfortunately, Clarkdales do not support video standards. Most bluray disks are encoded at 23.976 Hz. Clarkdale only supports 24.000 Hz. This difference in refresh rate causes issues such as stuttering. The same is true for 60p material, which really should be displayed 59.94 Hz. ATI and Nvidia support these refresh rates on all of their products. Intel’s customer service has been useless on these issues and have stopped responding to my efforts (and the efforts of others I know)to report these issues.
    So, Intel, please put your money where your mouth is, invest the resources to correct the issues with Clarkdale, and build solid HD-ready platforms for the future.
    Thanks you.

  10. Ryan says:

    I’m not terribly disappointed by the decision to drop a discrete graphics product. That market is saturated anyway. What would be nice is the Atom platform allowing HD hardware acceleration. The Broadcom “solution” is ridiculous and not that great a performer (at least on the current Flash beta) and really in 2010 I’m surprised any graphics card is being sold that doesn’t provide this functionality.

  11. Bleh says:

    Edward, if Intel had a 3d solution that didn’t they could build a Larrabee like multi-core chip that’s normally 2d-only with more cores added as necessary.
    Unfortunately they’re best in class because they’re in a class of their own as even other integrated graphics are generations ahead, so you need something like Nvidia Optimus which is more expensive, consumes more power and is just inferior to a one-chip solution.

  12. Eli says:

    Blah- yes Nvidia Optimus uses more power when its in use, thats why I’d want the Intel IPG to support normal desktop acceleration including video decoding (bluray, flash, silverlight, etc), what is needed by the next wave of browsers (DirectWrite and Direct2D), and what is needed to support WPF and Silverlight’s 3dness (not anywhere near what 3d games require.
    While OpenCL and DirectCompute may catch on the code that needs it should be able to wake up the descrete GPU in order to execute the code and then go back to sleep.
    A one chip solution isn’t all that good as trying to do it all in one chip will make the chip consume more power. (notice how ATI and Nvidia even when just doing 2d still take up more power)
    In the end I want a laptop that is both really good battery life and good 3d graphics but since I never need them at the same time a hybrid appoch is the only way to do that well for now.

  13. Eugene says:

    For laptops,netbooks – size,weight and battery life are important. For PC important performance.

  14. bvbellomo says:

    We aren’t able to compete with nVidia and ATI, and we aren’t even going to try, however we can define the word “graphics” broadly enough to say we still offer graphics.

  15. azza says:

    for a company who produces the fastest desktop CPUs, and is up against AMD/ATI and Nvidia on graphics… the only potential answer is order to compete is rather trivial.
    The only player who offers some potential technology to compete with some added $$$ and tech assistance with intel (& probably has enough tech know-how and patents) and which has the potentially the greatest low power and most popular graphics tech currently available, (whom intel, apple, samsung, ti and numerous others employ) is provided by imagination technologies.
    Img Tech supplied the tech behind the MBX and now the SGX chips found in many mobiles and pdas (iphone- mbx-lite, iphone3gs-sgx535, nokia n95 etc). If intel bothered to invest more $$$$ into this tech, maybe buy into this company…. they might be able to provide superior graphics to the average consumer???
    A discrete graphics board based on a large scale multi-chip version of these SGX derivatives could drive the visual displays of modern PCs. Img tech provided the sega dreamcast console graphics and early modern 3D Sega arcades. Their modern day mobile chips offer superior performance and features with minimal power and bandwidth requirements and also allow HD video decoding. They probably have rights to the third most graphics tech available (outside of ATI/AMD and Nvidia) and are one of the most popular (reasonable) 3D graphics tech chips available world-wide (with the amount of mobile 3D chips available).
    If intel used their superior fab plants to produce img tech (powerVR) graphics, in favour of its own larrabee tech, in regards to its graphics future and kept larrabee for large scale multi-thread computing, they might find a winner or at least highly-competitive performance against experienced opposition. Img tech have the graphics know-how and tech which intel lacks which is shown with its success on the low-end.
    Push this tech up to future integrated graphics tech and then hopefully further up to provide competitive discrete graphics, please intel :)
    ~a

  16. Mark Hahn says:

    larrabee was intriguing primarily because it was such a potentially flexible building block. yes, usable for graphics, but also for practically anything compute-intensive – gpGPU writ large. at the other extreme are traditional, dedicated, specific-purpose GPUs, which inherently lead in space and power efficiency. the real challenge is to find points of viability in between, since there are clear advantages to the middle: being able to use the same hardware to accelerate a movie or game as to do seti@home or voice recognition or accelerate photoshop. really, this is a two-fold challenge: figure out which minimal set of features have to be committed to dedicated hardware (low-power video decompression for a netbook, perhaps), and also how to provide more general-purpose hardware that can usefully accelerate the non-dedicated apps. nvidia’s fermi is certainly an attempt to reach into this zone, though it’s still pretty far from general-purpose, and suffers from not supporting the dominant isa (x86_64).

  17. bob says:

    I know this is an older post, but what work are you guys doing when it comes to 3D? Also what’s the next thing after 3D? I have been a customer of intel since my first computer and you guys keep blowing me away!
    Keep it up!
    -Bob

  18. tv on web says:

    An update is always welcomed, provided it is useful and it does not conflict with any previous stuff installed on the system. And the way you people put it, this update does just that, good job by the way for making my computer work daily … without coffee breaks