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Intel's 32 Core, Quad-HyperThreading Super Chip

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 78 comments

Four of these together can render some really nice Wolfenstein graphics.

One of the cool things Intel showed off as a technology demo was Wolfenstein ray traced and streamed to a laptop. Rather than relying on traditional GPUs, Intel called upon its Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture currently codenamed "Knights Corner" to render each frame to stream to a laptop.

This effort is aimed at more work than game, however, as it's targeted at the server market. Intel has been shipping industry design and development kits codenamed "Knights Ferry" to select developers. Intel says that this MIC architecture is derived from several Intel projects, including Larrabee and such Intel Labs research projects as the Single-chip Cloud Computer.

While not many specifics are known about the Knights Corner chip, the Knights Ferry servers used to power the Wolfenstein tech demo had chips with 32 x86 cores clocked at 1.2GHz, capable of processing four threads per core – allowing it to handle 128 threads. Four of these were used in the Wolfenstein demo.

The final Knights Corner chip will be made on Intel's 22nm manufacturing process and will put more than 50 Intel processing cores on a single chip.

Although Knights Corner sounds like it'll blow everything out of the water, Intel says that the vast majority of workloads will still run best on Xeon processors. The MIC architecture will shine best, though, in highly parallel applications.

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  • 39 Hide
    dxwarlock , September 15, 2010 4:09 PM
    mauller07Sounds nice, but whos gonna say it first.. i dare ya

    ok i will
    but can it play Wolfenstein?
  • 17 Hide
    enzo matrix , September 15, 2010 4:08 PM
    I wonder what architecture each core uses. Is it based on atom? core? something different?
  • 15 Hide
    mauller07 , September 15, 2010 4:08 PM
    Sounds nice, but whos gonna say it first.. i dare ya
Other Comments
  • -3 Hide
    pbrigido , September 15, 2010 4:05 PM
    um...wow? Anyone have a better adjective?
  • 17 Hide
    enzo matrix , September 15, 2010 4:08 PM
    I wonder what architecture each core uses. Is it based on atom? core? something different?
  • 15 Hide
    mauller07 , September 15, 2010 4:08 PM
    Sounds nice, but whos gonna say it first.. i dare ya
  • 39 Hide
    dxwarlock , September 15, 2010 4:09 PM
    mauller07Sounds nice, but whos gonna say it first.. i dare ya

    ok i will
    but can it play Wolfenstein?
  • 3 Hide
    lukeiamyourfather , September 15, 2010 4:10 PM
    Looks very exciting. Makes me wonder how well software can really scale with that many cores.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amdahl's_law
  • 2 Hide
    jimmysmitty , September 15, 2010 4:11 PM
    Looks like Intel has been working hard on its MIC products since Terascale. Its a good idea and looks to bring a lot of new stuff to servers, HPCs and Cloud computing.

    Can't wait to see this in action.
  • 3 Hide
    scook9 , September 15, 2010 4:11 PM
    So they made a GPU? That is what it looks like to me lol. It just does not do graphics....it does everything.
  • 13 Hide
    jellico , September 15, 2010 4:12 PM
    This is an absolutely staggering level of computing power. It always amazes me to think that my first PC (not my first computer, mind you) was a 80386 25MHz with 4MB of RAM and a 100MB hard drive... and that was considered a pretty nice machine at the time. By comparison, however, it was a friggin stone axe by today's standards. I can't wait to see where the technology will be in the next 25 years!
  • 0 Hide
    mauller07 , September 15, 2010 4:15 PM
    have to remember that each core is also only a fraction as powerfull as a current processor core (in a current pc it would be very under powered) in say quad core, septa core etc but its the number of them and threading of the program that makes up for the power
  • 5 Hide
    radiumburn , September 15, 2010 4:24 PM
    Software just needs to catchup to hardware on multicore setups.. Well nonserver software that is..
  • 4 Hide
    shaun_shaun , September 15, 2010 4:32 PM
    any benchmarks ???
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , September 15, 2010 4:37 PM
    My DX2 can blow it out the water...
  • 5 Hide
    koga73 , September 15, 2010 4:41 PM
    and then skynet was born
  • -1 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 15, 2010 4:46 PM
    It might be for the server but for the price of one, you can probably get several AMD Magny-Cours and a motherboard to boot.
  • 6 Hide
    killerchickens , September 15, 2010 4:49 PM
    Intel larrabee?
  • -2 Hide
    tu_illegalamigo , September 15, 2010 4:53 PM
    Great for parallel tasks, but mas programacion en paralela por favor! I think parallel computing is where everything is going to go next, due to certain limits being reached these days.
  • 1 Hide
    kikireeki , September 15, 2010 4:53 PM
    I think we have already seen a demo for its GFX capability and it sucks!
  • 4 Hide
    awood28211 , September 15, 2010 4:54 PM
    I think multi-core processing will be more evident if given the ability to divide the cores into logical workloads. Must everything run on core1 that's single threaded until the OS decides it's too bogged down? I want core 30-32 to run my games, core 20-29 to run all my single core apps, dividing each processor to one per core unless I exceed all 9 cores in use. give me the 1st 5 cores for my OS and services. Put the rest into anything else that is multi-threaded. Let ME configure it. There is NOTHING that's more of a pet peeve to me than my machine using near 100% of 1 cpu and 2% of another all the while making every application I own come to a crawl....just because the OS thinks it knows how to handle it.
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