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Intel Not Going to Quit the GPU Acceleration Race

Nvidia has been making significant in-roads into the high performance supercomputing market, making the GPU acceleration almost implicit in the latest generation of it GPU's. By contrast, Intel has struggled to land the same sort of dominance it enjoys in the processor market in the GPU market.

Realising the importance of the High Performance market for high margins, and to set the trend for the rest of the computing market, Intel showed off its first high-performance computing (HPC) accelerator to the public at the SC10 trade-show dedicated to super computers. They demonstrated the Knights Ferry device, which contains much of the technology created from the now cancelled Larrabee GPU project.

The demo included a Monte Carlo Simulation (typically used in finance applications) for Intel MIC used standard C++ code with an Intel MIC-enabled version of the Intel Parallel Studio XE 2011 software development tools.

The demo showed that Knights Ferry can manage twice the performance of those conducted with prior generation technologies. Whether this is enough to convince the market will of course depend on the price, as well as software provided. But Intel is certainly keeping themselves in the HPC GPU race.