Intel Demos System Based on 48-Core Processor

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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • ehanger
    but can it play crysis?
  • pcfxer
    Cool, so now when a core dies I need to replace my entire processor! sweeeeeeeet. IBM Z system CPU boards for the win.
  • lueszu
    ehangerbut can it play crysis?
    That is indeed the question...
  • Nice. So now when I play Dragon Age I'll have to disable 47 cores so the game won't crash
  • warmon6
    Hmm... If it possible, get 4 of these under 1 rig for a total 192 cores...... That would make a killer F@H rig.
  • back_by_demand
    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.
  • dalta centauri
    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.
  • Great all we need now this new 48 core cpu to become self aware.
  • dark_knight33
    ehangerbut can it play crysis?
    But can that joke die already? :/
  • mapesdhs
    Did Intel say if it was possible to run a single OS instance
    on the system? ie. do the chips include NUMA support?