MIT's 100-core CPU Will Be Ready This Year
And they're not stopping at 100, either.
Way back in October of 2009, Tilera Corp announced that it had managed to squeeze 100 cores onto a single chip. The announcement focused on a new line of multi-core processors called the TILE-Gx series. Tilera said it planned to release 16, 36, 64, and 100 core models with the goal of simplifying system architecture. So far, the company has launched the 16, 36, and 64 core models. So where's that 100 core model?
According to Wired, we don't have to wait much longer, as Tilera plans to ship the 100-core TILE-Gx later this year. Not only that, but the company's next line, code-named Stratton and set for release in 2013, will mean an expansion of cores in both directions: Tilera is claiming as few as four and as many as 200 cores for the Stratton line and a move from a 40-nm to a 28-nm process means they can cram more circuits into the same area.
Quanta is one of the manufacturers that Tilera supplies chips to, and though the servers it supplies to big-name web companies aren't powered by Tilera yet, Wired reports that the MIT-run company is on the radar of several companies. In fact, just last summer, Facebook pitted the TILE-Gx against Intel and AMD's Xeon and Opteron server-processors. The test saw a tuned version of Memcached on the 64-core Tilera TILEPro64 yielded at least 67 percent higher throughput than low-power x86 servers.
Though the social network was obviously pleased with the TILERPro64's performance, Facebook highlighted the limited amount of memory the Tilera processors support as a problem for the server chips. Thirty-two-bit cores can only address about 4GB of memory and, as Anant Agarwal, director of MIT's CSAIL (the lab behind Tilera), puts it, "A 32-bit architecture is a nonstarter for the cloud space." Tilera’s 64-bit processors are capable of supporting as much as a terabyte of memory and should more than address this problem, but Agarwal hasn't said if the improvement has been enough to sway Facebook, revealing only that Tilera and the social networking site have a good relationship.