[Beowulf] nearly future of Larrabee

Mikhail Kuzminsky kus at free.net
Fri Aug 21 10:53:16 PDT 2009

AFAIK Larrabee-based product(s) will appear soon - at begin of 2010.
Unfortunatley I didn't see enough appropriate technical information. 
What new is known from SIGGRAPH 2009 ?

There was 2 ideas of Larrabee-based hardware a) Whole computers on 
Larrabee CPU(s)
b) GPGPU card.

Recently I didn't see any words about Larrabee-based servers - only 
about graphical cards.
If Larrabee will work as CPU - then I beleive that linux kernel 
developers will work in this direction.
But I didn't find anything about Larrabee in 2.6.

Q1. Is there the plans to build Larrabee-based motherboards (in 
particular in 2010) ?

If Larrabee will be in the form of graphical card (the most probable 
case) -
Q2. What will be the interface - one slot PCI-E v.2 x16 ?

It's known now, that DP will be hardware supported and (AFAIK) that 
512-bit operands (i.e. 8 DP words) will be supported in ISA.

Q3. Does it means that Larrabee will give essential speedup also on 
relative short vectors ?

And is there some preliminary articles w/estimation of Larrabee DP 
performance ? One of declared potential advantages of Larrabee is 
support by compilers.

There is now PGI Fortran w/NVidia GPGPU extensions. PGI 
Accelerator-2010 will include support of CUDA on the base of 
OpenMP-like comments to compiler. So

Q4. Is there some rumours about direct Larrabee support w/Intel ifort 
or PGI compilers in 2010 ?

(By "direct" I mean automatic compiler vectorization of "pure" 
Fortran/C source, maximim w/additional commemts).

Q5. How much may costs Larrabee-based hardware in 2010 ? I hope it'll 
be lower $10000. Any more exact predictions ?

Mikhail Kuzminsky
Computer Assistance to Chemical Research Center
Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry RAS

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