AMD, Nvidia Shares Rise As Intel Delays Larrabee Graphics Project

AMD shares were up over 7 percent, and shares of Nvidia were up nearly 14 percent, early in the trading day on Monday. News broke late Friday that Intel would either cancel or re-purpose its Larrabee project, which was an ambitious effort to repurpose x86-compatible processor cores for visual computing.

Intel had originally targeted late 2009 for the first release of a Larrabee-based discrete graphics product, then revised that to 2010. Now Intel says a commercially available product has been shelved indefinitely, though the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company will make the hardware platform available to developers.

Intel is delaying Larrabee and modifying it to become a test-bed for multicore graphics and supercomputing development.

Intel in August said Larrabee, which included not only the GPU but also the infrastructure and ecosystem needed for an ambitious plan to blend linear and parallel computing on entirely x86-based hardware platforms, would be released in either 2009 or 2010.

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As such, it could have been a potential threat to the discrete graphics products made by Nvidia, the market leader in high-end graphics products, and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), whose ATI division is the second-largest graphics vendor.

Intel's graphics processor market is focused on components embedded on motherboards, which are suitable for general use but not for high-end applications like multimedia or gaming.

Larrabee, as originally planned, is a hardware and software hybrid graphics processor, and the delay in Larrabee is due to the complexity of the hardware, Ars Technica reported. By the time Larrabee came to market, it would be too late to compete with new AMD and Nvidia products, the website wrote.

Damon Poeter contributed to this article.