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Friday, January 05, 2007

Revenge of the Nerds



Intel Promises 80-Core Commercial Chips in Five Years

Intel Corp., the world’s largest maker of x86 microprocessors, announced on Tuesday that it had created a test chip that contains 80 processing cores, which is a prototype of a chip that should deliver trillion floating-point operations-per-second (teraFLOPs) of performance. The actual commercial processors with 80 processing engines should be available in 5 years timeframe.(...)

"This new usage model will challenge the industry to deliver the one trillion floating-point operations-per-second (teraFLOPs) of performance and terabytes of bandwidth,” said Mr. Rattner."

Intel’s CTO outlined the importance of three major silicon breakthroughs. He started by revealing the first details of Intel’s tera-scale research prototype silicon, the world’s first programmable TeraFLOP processor. Containing 80 simple cores and operating at 3.10GHz, the goal of this experimental chip is to test interconnect strategies for rapidly moving terabytes of data from core to core and between cores and memory.

A relevância desta notícia insere-se no contexto de que aquele que é tido como o mais rápido supercomputador do mundo, o BlueGene/L, opera (também) na gama das centenas de TFLOPS. A concretizar-se este roadmap da Intel, no espaço de aproximadamente 5 anos será possível a utilizadores regulares começar a ter disponíveis computadores com capacidade aproximada à do que está no Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
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