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Intel Hardware

Intel To Ship 48-Core Test Systems To Researchers 135

Posted by timothy
from the but-one-link's-enough-really dept.
MojoKid writes "Just when you thought your 6-core chip was the fastest processor on the planet, Intel announces plans to ship systems equipped with an experimental 48-core CPU to a handful of lucky researchers sometime by the end of the second quarter. The 48 cores are arranged with multiple connect points in a serial mesh network to transfer data between cores. Each core also has on-chip buffers to instantly exchange data in parallel across all cores. According to Sean Koehl, technology evangelist with Intel Labs, the chip only draws between 25 and 125 watts."
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Intel To Ship 48-Core Test Systems To Researchers

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  • And it runs Linux (Score:3, Informative)

    by Macka (9388) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @05:10AM (#31798832)

    According to the video they're running Linux on this thing with a custom kernel. No specific details on the changes they had to make to get it running yet.

  • Re:Larrabee (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2010 @05:21AM (#31798866)

    Indeed. Or, to be more precise, it's their "Bangalore" chip which is basically the same thing as Larrabee without the graphics-specific subunits (texture unit) and perhaps the fancy-pants cache coherency / ring bus architecture.

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @05:55AM (#31798922) Journal

    ... reported in this Slashdot entry - http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/12/02/215207 [slashdot.org] ??

  • Tilera (Score:4, Informative)

    by loufoque (1400831) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @06:02AM (#31798942)

    Might as well buy a Tilera if it's for research...
    The only good thing about x86 is that it runs legacy Windows programs, but who cares about that in research?

  • Correction (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2010 @06:09AM (#31798956)

    "Just when you thought your 6-core chip was the fastest processor on the planet, Intel announces plans to ship systems equipped with an experimental 48-core CPU to a handful of lucky researchers sometime by the end of the second quarter.

    Actually, the 8-core (Nehalem EX) and 12-core (Opteron "Magny-Cours") CPUs are already faster than your 6-core CPU. And oddly enough, this 48-core CPU is actually slower than your 6-core, 8-core, or 12-core CPUs. Intel didn't design the 48-core CPU to sell it. They did it as a research project/experiment to develop new ways of interconnecting so many processing cores. While there are technically 48 cores they are far less complex and slower performing than anything that Intel is shipping retail. If you go back a year or two you can find articles where Intel unveiled the CPU and talked about performance. This is simply an exercise in massively parallel CPU design, not an effort to make a faster CPU. That's why they are shipping them to researchers, so they can study and learn how to develop uses for such massively parallel systems.

  • Re:And it runs Linux (Score:3, Informative)

    by solevita (967690) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @06:55AM (#31799064)

    or your right to demand source to the GPL stuff and redistribute it publically?

    But this is all just wrong. There's no requirement to make GPL code public, you only need to make it available to the people that receive the binaries. So the researchers will likely be given some source code, but nobody has to release that to the rest of us.

  • by Skaven04 (449705) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @09:48AM (#31799724) Homepage

    AMD's new 12-core "Magny-Cours" Opteron parts will be available in 4P configurations with 48 cores and up to 512GB RAM, so...::yawn::

  • by Skaven04 (449705) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @09:57AM (#31799764) Homepage

    Actually 768GB RAM...12 dimms per socket (if an OEM chooses to max out the config) with 16GB DDR3 dimms == 768GB.

  • Re:48 cores (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2010 @11:16AM (#31800090)

    Actually, 4 DDR3 memory controllers, each of which can independently talk to a bank of DDR3 memory.

  • Re:Larrabee (Score:2, Informative)

    by Spy Hunter (317220) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @01:36PM (#31800754) Journal

    No, actually this is a separate effort entirely. This is a product of the same group which produced the "Polaris" 80-core chip, and is meant for research into communication models and memory architectures for massively parallel systems.

    Larrabee is still ongoing as a separate project with a different focus. Larrabee is all about getting maximum throughput by adding a wide vector unit with a whole new instruction set to each x86 core. As far as anyone outside Intel knows, the plan is still to eventually release some Larrabee prototypes as-is (with the texture units and everything), and to develop a Larrabee 2 with the lessons learned that can actually compete directly with GeForce and Radeon in the graphics card market.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2010 @02:53PM (#31801152)

    Intel did not originally design this cpu.

    The 64-core mesh cpu has been sold since 2003 from http://www.tilera.com/products/TILE64.php

    Here is a video of one of the founders who originally designed the mesh cpu.
    http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/671

    They have a 120 core cpu coming out soon.

    Point is, Intel has found a way around their patents to design their own mesh cpu.
    It kind of sickened me to watch Intel take all credit for this mesh design.

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