Intel said Tuesday that it is investing $12 million in a visual-computing research center in Europe. This comes as Intel prepares to bring out its first graphics chip in more than a decade by early next year.
Opening Tuesday, the Intel Visual Computing Institute is located at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany. The company says the center "will explore advanced graphics and visual computing technologies."
The investment, to be made over five years, represents Intel's largest European university collaboration, the company said.
"Intel's visual computing vision is to realize computer applications that look real, act real and feel real," Intel said in a statement. "A key mission of the latest member of Intel Labs Europe is to contribute to the company's tera-scale research program, which explores how multiple computing cores will be used to produce higher-performance computing and more life-like graphics," Intel said.
The lab will conduct both basic and applied research in realistic, interactive computer graphics and natural user interfaces, according to Intel. By year's end the institute will employ about a dozen researchers from such sources as Intel, Saarland University, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence.
The Visual Computing Institute will develop new software designs and architectures, visual-computing algorithms and parallel-computing solutions and will establish a feedback loop to Intel's hardware design labs--including in Barcelona, Spain, and Braunschweig, Germany.
Intel CEO Paul Otellinli recently said that the future Larrabee graphics processor shown in April at the Intel Developers Conference in Beijing was a "high-end version" and added that "there's obviously other versions that have far fewer cores for different price points." Volume shipments of Larrabee are expected early next year.