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Intel Demos System Based on 48-Core Processor

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 56 comments

That's a lot more cores than we've got right now in our systems.

Last month Intel announced that it was shipping systems with its experimental 48-core processor. Now we get to see what a system with the radical chip looks like.

X-bit labs caught the supercomputer on chip (SCC) system on demonstration in Europe, which runs on an experimental "Copper Ridge" motherboard with integrated I/O and graphics and eight DIMM slots. There's no SATA ports, instead an Intel USB flash disk is used for storage.

According to the report, the SCC contains 24 tiles with two x86 cores per tile, each of which has its own L2 cache and can run a separate OS and software stack and act like an individual compute node that communicates with other compute nodes over a packet-based network. The SCC also has four integrated DDR3 memory controllers.

The 48-core chip features 24 small routers between the cores, which facilitate faster data exchanges across the chip. Each core also has on-chip buffers that can instantly exchange data in parallel across all the cores.

Intel also says that the 48-core chip has a more advanced on-die power management system that can vary the power draw between 25 watts to 125 watts. It can also reduce clock speed and shut down cores.

As far as clock speeds go, current desktop and even laptop offerings outpace this 48-core wonder. Intel revealed that its experimental chip runs at about the same frequencies as the Atom CPU, so we're looking in the neighborhood of 1.2GHz to 1.83GHz.

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  • 19 Hide
    Anonymous , May 25, 2010 12:13 PM
    Gpu's have a lot of cores at less speed so that means this is faster for mass calculations in realtime.
  • 26 Hide
    dark_knight33 , May 25, 2010 11:58 AM
    ehangerbut can it play crysis?


    But can that joke die already? :/ 
  • 23 Hide
    dalta centauri , May 25, 2010 11:47 AM
    Why do people thing this is going to be for gaming rigs, or more so that it's going to be sold to the general public? I think they would release it to businesses only.
Other Comments
  • -8 Hide
    Anonymous , May 25, 2010 11:35 AM
    Nice. So now when I play Dragon Age I'll have to disable 47 cores so the game won't crash
  • 19 Hide
    warmon6 , May 25, 2010 11:36 AM
    Hmm... If it possible, get 4 of these under 1 rig for a total 192 cores...... That would make a killer F@H rig.
  • 4 Hide
    back_by_demand , May 25, 2010 11:46 AM
    pcfxerCool, so now when a core dies I need to replace my entire processor! sweeeeeeeet. IBM Z system CPU boards for the win.

    Well if the chip can shut down cores I can only assume that if a core fails the rest of the chip can survive without it.
    Defo one for the future, watch this space.
  • 23 Hide
    dalta centauri , May 25, 2010 11:47 AM
    Why do people thing this is going to be for gaming rigs, or more so that it's going to be sold to the general public? I think they would release it to businesses only.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , May 25, 2010 11:48 AM
    Great all we need now this new 48 core cpu to become self aware.
  • 26 Hide
    dark_knight33 , May 25, 2010 11:58 AM
    ehangerbut can it play crysis?


    But can that joke die already? :/ 
  • 10 Hide
    mapesdhs , May 25, 2010 11:58 AM

    Did Intel say if it was possible to run a single OS instance
    on the system? ie. do the chips include NUMA support?

    Ian.

  • 19 Hide
    Anonymous , May 25, 2010 12:13 PM
    Gpu's have a lot of cores at less speed so that means this is faster for mass calculations in realtime.
  • 14 Hide
    mx348 , May 25, 2010 12:35 PM
    This is HUGE for the Visualization Space !!

    One server with this chip can replace the 10 we're currently running !!
  • 0 Hide
    RustyXshackleford , May 25, 2010 12:56 PM
    The problem I see here is that no matter how many cores you`re putting in the package, it`s still a serial processor. I am in agreement with Bill Dally that we need to concentrate more on parallelism in our processor designs. I have no doubt that this CPU can probably parallel task very well, but we`re just delaying the inevitable here. This is not entirely semiconductor companies or hardware companies fault. Programmers are still writing in serial fashion, and the majority of programs cannot properly utilize all the abilities of the current hardware. That statement of course does not include those who are writing for Knoppix, beowulf, compute cluster and the like.
  • 11 Hide
    joytech22 , May 25, 2010 12:57 PM
    Wow this would be great for raytracing, i wonder how many frames per second i could get with that! 4-5FPS? that would revolutionize the way i render scenes!
  • 5 Hide
    warmon6 , May 25, 2010 1:19 PM
    dreamer77ddAs slow as an Atom that chip needs some crazy over clocking to make it meaningful to me.


    They said "same frequencies as the Atom CPU" not "same power as the Atom cpu". The IPC of this cpu is probably equal or better than what we see out there right now. Although as dalta centauri said, (for the time being)thoses 48 core cpus are not going to be released to the general public. There just targeted for business. (doesn't mean you cant get them for your self though.)

    dalta centauriWhy do people thing this is going to be for gaming rigs, or more so that it's going to be sold to the general public? I think they would release it to businesses only.


    Well, i dont get it either for gamers. More cores doesn't equal better games unless the games can use it.

    Although even if it's sold only for businesses, The general public can still get there hands on them but only people that have the money and need for them, can buy them.
  • 0 Hide
    ta152h , May 25, 2010 1:22 PM
    mapesdhsDid Intel say if it was possible to run a single OS instanceon the system? ie. do the chips include NUMA support?Ian.


    NUMA is for multiple processors(meaning sockets), not multiple cores within a processor.
  • 2 Hide
    Reynod , May 25, 2010 1:24 PM
    It might be a viable competitor for the sorts of applications that are currently being run on RISC machines.

    Frankly I see future systems at the high end resorting to the equivalent of (or extension of) the front end and back end array, but with a much meatier central processing array.

    An array of simple homogeneous cores all tied to ine bus won't cut it though, but as it is, I would imagine it might make a pretty good decrytion engine.

    High praise to Intel for getting hardware out there for preview, which is excellent.

    I suppose these are simpler variants of the Atom core then?

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