Friday, 30 April 2010

48-core processor.

Futuristic 48-core design of Intel’s latest processor concept may sound like the company got involved in an arms race with AMD, especially since Intel Xeon 7500 designed for servers has 8 cores versus Opteron 6100’s 12 cores from AMD.

But as it appears, limited edition of 48-core processors has come into this world only as a guinea pig and will most likely be sacrificed in the name of results it will achieve in the hands of lucky researches when they get it in late Q2.

Everyone who is in the know expects a lot form the experimental 48-core architecture. One of the advantages of rich core topology is low power consumption. Even first tests show that processor stays nicely between 25W when idle and 125W under load. These results are achieved at clock speeds similar to current Atom units.

Another advantage is getting round x86 architecture bottlenecks when it comes to data exchange with system memory. Every core has its personal buffer so that it could immediately communicate with the others. This, by the way, frees up some memory as well.

What’s more, cores can be easily shut off with the help of additional software which so far is in development. I have to say I am quite exited by this concept. Especially because Intel promises to bring some of the elements and ideas behind massively multicore server processors to desktop solutions, so I will keep an eye on what’s going on in Intel Labs.
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