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Intel abandons discrete graphics

Intel's CEO Paul Otellini may think there's still life in Intel's Larrabee discrete graphics project, but the other guys at Intel don't appear to share his optimism.

Intel's director of product and technology media relations, Bill Kircos, has just written a blog about Intel's graphics strategy, revealing that any plans for a discrete graphics card have been shelved for at least the foreseeable future.

"We will not bring a discrete graphics product to market," stated Kircos, "at least in the short-term." He added that Intel had "missed some key product milestones" in the development of the discrete Larrabee product, and said that the company's graphics division is now "focused on processor graphics."

That's not to say that the Larrabee project is completely dead. Intel has previously said that it's focusing on Larrabee as a software development project, as well as a hardware product, and it's quite possible that Intel is still working on the former.

Even so, the comments are in contrast with what Paul Otellini told attendees at the Intel investors' conference in Santa Clara this month. Otellini stated that Larrabee "still has very high promise in areas of throughput-computing, and in terms of a general reprogrammable graphics engine using small IA cores, we still like the idea.”

At the time, Otellini said that although Intel had removed Larrabee from the roadmaps, it was still working on the project and was simply looking at how and when to bring it to market.

Kircos only said that there wouldn't be a discrete graphics product in the short term, and it's possible that Intel will release an x86-based graphics chip in the long-term future. However, it's fair to say that the future of Larrabee is now looking doubtful.