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MIT's 100-core CPU Will Be Ready This Year

By - Source: Wired | B 69 comments

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.

Read more on Tilera, its 100-core chips, and its plans for future server processors, on Wired.

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  • 16 Hide
    internetlad , January 24, 2012 3:46 PM
    inb4 DURR CAN'T WAIT TO PUT THAT IN MY GAMING PC from a bunch of 14 year olds who don't know what's going on.

    I know this because I was that 14 year old once.
  • 11 Hide
    rosen380 , January 24, 2012 4:19 PM
    "higher clocks do no necessarily mean higher performance......"

    This. You take a P4 3.80 GHz and I'll take a Core i7-2960XM [2.70 GHz]. The latter DESTROYS the former despite the difference in clock speed...

    I'll take $$$ put into architecture changes that yield 10x performance improvements over the same money going towards doubling clock speeds...
Other Comments
  • -4 Hide
    nurgletheunclean , January 24, 2012 3:35 PM
    While a good approach, it will not be mainstream. People have been asking Intel to do this for years with the original atom processor. Now that Medfield is out and can run at peek frequency at 650mw. Intel could pack 100 medfields onto a single die for a fraction of the wattage of TILE-Gx, and have full x86 compatibility at the same time. If serious demand for this kind of chip surfaced Intel's designs and processes would be far more desirable.

    and no it won't run BF3, or windows.
  • 2 Hide
    theuniquegamer , January 24, 2012 3:41 PM
    will they sell it or make a consumer version of it for market?
  • 16 Hide
    internetlad , January 24, 2012 3:46 PM
    inb4 DURR CAN'T WAIT TO PUT THAT IN MY GAMING PC from a bunch of 14 year olds who don't know what's going on.

    I know this because I was that 14 year old once.
  • 3 Hide
    dormantreign , January 24, 2012 3:50 PM
    i sorta want GHZ too. The dolphin emulator requires it and a boat load of applications run faster too with higher GHZ. Hold at 8 cores and push the GHZ envelope to around 6...then add more cores again. Rinse and repeat.
  • -5 Hide
    Pherule , January 24, 2012 4:07 PM
    "...pitted the TILE-Gx against Intel and AMD's Xeon and Opteron server-processors"

    How is that for a test? They don't say how many cores the other servers had, so we can't make a real comparison here. It's no good having 100 cores if you only get a 67% performance boost over an 8-core machine.

    Moreover it would help quite a few people to have 100 cores processors in desktop (non-server) machines too. I would certainly use 100 cores; I do some brute-force work as well as heavy floating point operations. Heck, I could do with a 1000 core CPU. Bring it on.
  • 11 Hide
    rosen380 , January 24, 2012 4:19 PM
    "higher clocks do no necessarily mean higher performance......"

    This. You take a P4 3.80 GHz and I'll take a Core i7-2960XM [2.70 GHz]. The latter DESTROYS the former despite the difference in clock speed...

    I'll take $$$ put into architecture changes that yield 10x performance improvements over the same money going towards doubling clock speeds...
  • 7 Hide
    ajay_vishvanathan , January 24, 2012 4:32 PM
    o.O looks like i can run a hundred counter strike 1.6 servers from my home with enough ram and internet.. :D 
    ILL BE RICH!!!! :D 
    btw keep it up.. reduces business costs.. saves space in servers.. this is just good.. :D 
  • 5 Hide
    mrmaia , January 24, 2012 4:47 PM
    Quote:
    In fact, just last summer, Facebook pitted the TILE-Gx against Intel and AMD's Xeon and Opteron server-processors.


    Wait, is Facebook reviews hardware? I guess Apple fanbois found their safe haven with their $8k FB machines.
  • 3 Hide
    wardwing , January 24, 2012 4:53 PM
    I wonder how F@H would run on this? 25x4 clients? 100x1 client?

    x denoting cores fwi
  • 1 Hide
    rosen380 , January 24, 2012 5:08 PM
    wardwingI wonder how F@H would run on this? 25x4 clients? 100x1 client?x denoting cores fwi


    Maybe not a review, but I assume they have some unbelievably huge amount of hardware powering their site, so I bet they have a vested interest in finding more efficient CPUs...
  • 2 Hide
    rosen380 , January 24, 2012 5:09 PM
    Sorry-- I replied to the wrong post :) 
  • 2 Hide
    Zagen30 , January 24, 2012 5:50 PM
    wardwingI wonder how F@H would run on this? 25x4 clients? 100x1 client?x denoting cores fwi


    Outside of the fact that it's not an x86 processor, and thus not supported, the Wired article says that the cores are not very optimized for floating-point performance, which is what FAH depends on. 64, or 100, of these cores on one chip could make up for the individual lack of FP computational power, but I'm not sure any of us could say more than that.
  • -4 Hide
    warezme , January 24, 2012 6:26 PM
    blast from the past comment..., but will it run crisys?
  • 2 Hide
    madooo12 , January 24, 2012 6:29 PM
    i don't understand, don't GPUs now have 2048 cores
    for stuff that needs parallelism GPUs are king, why use 100 core CPUs while you can get 2048 core GPUs

    or is there something i missed
  • -2 Hide
    mbryans , January 24, 2012 6:33 PM
    I think they should make a 100-core CPU with integrated graphics on a single chip. Working in 64-bit environment with a maximum TDP of 100 Watts, and supports DirectX 11. The integrated graphics have performance equivalent 4-way CrossFireX HD 7970. Too bad they have not think about it ...
  • -1 Hide
    madooo12 , January 24, 2012 6:37 PM
    rosen380"higher clocks do no necessarily mean higher performance......"This. You take a P4 3.80 GHz and I'll take a Core i7-2960XM [2.70 GHz]. The latter DESTROYS the former despite the difference in clock speed... I'll take $$$ put into architecture changes that yield 10x performance improvements over the same money going towards doubling clock speeds...

    actually i remember something on THW that showed all intel core processors had nearly equal IPCs
    and they beat P4
    so higher clock speeds on core processors do mean performance gains
  • 1 Hide
    warmon6 , January 24, 2012 6:40 PM
    rosen380Maybe not a review, but I assume they have some unbelievably huge amount of hardware powering their site, so I bet they have a vested interest in finding more efficient CPUs...


    That's called all the people donating the computers time for F@H. ;) 


    wardwingI wonder how F@H would run on this? 25x4 clients? 100x1 client?x denoting cores fwi


    Well, there isn't a core/thread limit as of right now and if memory serves right, on the F@H forums, someone had eight, 8 core xeons on one motherboard (64 cores but 128 Threads) and it was running fine with one client.

    So 1 client will support over 100 cores. Although the better question is, is the FPU's in each core strong or are the weak? That'll make more of a difference.
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