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Microsoft's Phil Taylor Takes Flight, Going to Intel

Senior Program Manager Phil Taylor announced his departure from Microsoft today on his blog. Taylor, one of Microsoft's top PC graphics programmers, will join chip-maker Intel to help launch a new wave in graphics processing, code-named "Larrabee."

In his message to fellow team members in Microsoft's Flight Simulator community, Taylor wrote, "Sometimes you run across an opportunity that is so big, so cool, that you just have to take it."

Taylor alluded to having served on teams that sprung some important firsts in 3D hardware/software developments. With Larrabee, Taylor expects to join a team preparing to launch what Taylor sees as the "third sea change in PC graphics."

"Larrabee has the potential to not only change the face of PC graphics, but ultimately the shape of the PC architecture as well," Taylor wrote.

Larrabee is a new graphics processing unit (GPU) being developed by Intel. Wikipedia calls it a hybrid that combines multi-core CPU and GPU qualities. It features x86 architecture with SIMD vector units.

A video card with Larrabee is anticipated to compete with Nvidia's GeForce and AMD/ATI's Radeon products. In the highly competitive video game industry, Larrabee is expected to make a splash. According to Intel's SIGGRAPH 2008 paper, Larrabee is likely to run faster than 1 GHz, which should accommodate the most demanding games.

Taylor's last day at Microsoft will be Friday, September 26. He noted that the Larrabee team may be interested in Microsoft's FS11 project and that he may be interacting with his colleagues again in the near future.

Intel's Larrabee is scheduled to be ready by the end of the year, with the first video card hitting the shelves by late 2009.

About the Author

Herb Torrens is an award-winning freelance writer based in Southern California. He managed the MCSP program for a leading computer telephony integrator for more than five years and has worked with numerous solution providers including HP/Compaq, Nortel, and Microsoft in all forms of media.

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