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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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  • Larrabee (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheKidWho (705796) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @05:49AM (#31798776)

    I believe this is the remnants of Intel's failed Larrabee chipset which was supposed to compete with Nvidia and ATI.

    A nice article on the story behind Larrabee and it's failure:
    http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2009/10/12/an-inconvenient-truth-intel-larrabee-story-revealed.aspx [brightsideofnews.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2010 @06:55AM (#31798920)

    Yes, I can think of the possibilities...

    A Jaguar (or Roadrunner) of these processors would still be too slow to numerically solve the geomechanics problems I grapple with daily though. A Jaguar equipped with these processors would be approximately 20 petaflops peak. To simulate 1 sec of fracture of a 10mm cube of rock on the atomic scale would require of order 10^36 floating point operations. To do that would take 10^20 sec at 10 petaflops. Not bad really...that's only 10^12 years. Oh wait, the universe hasn't even been around that long...

    Having said that I'm a researcher who writes and uses high-performance parallel software daily. How might I become one of Intel's select few to trial these chips? I can certainly think of ways to keep them warm!

    Please Intel please! ;)

  • Re:And it runs Linux (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mdwh2 (535323) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @08:41AM (#31799198) Journal

    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html [gnu.org] , section 10:

    Each time you convey a covered work, the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensors, to run, modify and propagate that work, subject to this License. You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties with this License.

    An entity transaction is a transaction transferring control of an organization, or substantially all assets of one, or subdividing an organization, or merging organizations. If propagation of a covered work results from an entity transaction, each party to that transaction who receives a copy of the work also receives whatever licenses to the work the party's predecessor in interest had or could give under the previous paragraph, plus a right to possession of the Corresponding Source of the work from the predecessor in interest, if the predecessor has it or can get it with reasonable efforts.

    You may not impose any further restrictions on the exercise of the rights granted or affirmed under this License. For example, you may not impose a license fee, royalty, or other charge for exercise of rights granted under this License, and you may not initiate litigation (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that any patent claim is infringed by making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the Program or any portion of it.

    So the way I see it, either they have the right to redistribute, or Intel would be committing copyright infringement.

    And it would be an obvious loophole if a contract, NDA, EULA or anything else could trump the GPL, because then people would just distribute a GPL application with an additional bit saying "Actually you have to agree not to redistribute this application".

  • Re:Correction (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @09:19AM (#31799352) Journal

    Intel didn't design the 48-core CPU to sell it

    Actually, they did. Unfortunately, it was delayed and didn't work as well as they'd hoped and it would have been a complete flop in its original target market so they're shipping it as a research toy to try to recoup some of their investment.

  • by Mr Pippin (659094) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @09:20AM (#31799354)
    Sounds quite a bit like the INMOS Transputer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transputer [wikipedia.org]
    Wonder what version of Occam (the programming language) will ship with it?
  • Re:Correction (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Spatial (1235392) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @10:26AM (#31799632)
    Correct.

    Clock frequency is worthless as a measure of CPU performance. Cores have never stopped getting faster.

    For example: Each individual core in a 2.66Ghz i5-750 is more than twice as fast as a 3.8Ghz P4. Often many times faster than that, depending on the workload.
  • Re:Larrabee (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jmknsd (1184359) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @11:43AM (#31799960)

    No, actually It is basically a bunch of Pentium 3s with cache coherency removed for a small chunk of on chip RAM, and a message passing interface for inter core communication. It has alot of interesting features, and is more usable than the 80 core chip they came out with a few years ago.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2010 @12:08PM (#31800062)

    Only 48? Don't forget hyperthreading.

  • Re:Correction (Score:2, Interesting)

    by symbolset (646467) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @01:08PM (#31800296) Journal
    More likely they've got this widget sitting around with all the requisite engineers raring to go. But it's a wrench that fits no bolt - they need research scientists with the type of problems that this solves to put a load on it, define the scope of its use and put it to work so they can refine the toolchain and broaden the scope.

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