Intel's 32 Core, Quad-HyperThreading Super Chip

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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  • pbrigido Anyone have a better adjective?
  • enzo matrix
    I wonder what architecture each core uses. Is it based on atom? core? something different?
  • mauller07
    Sounds nice, but whos gonna say it first.. i dare ya