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Paul Otellini holds up a wafer with 6400 cores
Intel promises teraflop chips within the next five years

Intel today announced that it has produced its first teraflop-on-a-chip.  The chip, essentially a prototype, was demonstrated when Intel CEO Paul Otellini showed off the wafer during this week's IDF conference opening keynote.

Each of the 80 processors on the wafer contain a die with eighty cores -- 6400 cores in total.  Each CPU has more than one terabyte per second of throughput between the CPU cores and the on-die SRAM. Otellini claims that this technology will be available within 5 years, putting it in line with the previously outlined Gesher family expected to ship in 2010. 

To put that into perspective, the fastest public supercomputer in 1996 was the ASCI Red which featured over 4,500 compute nodes using 200MHz Pentium Pro processors and was the first computer to break the 1 teraflops barrier.

Each of the individual CPUs runs at 3.1GHz in a very simple configuration.  These are far from production-ready processors and are mainly for demonstration purposes.  Each processor is also unique in the fact that the packaging is three dimensional.  The cache substrate is "stacked" directly underneath the FPUs, thus saving space and latency. 

The processors are just one component of Intel's Tera-Scale initiative -- a set of research projects geared to bringing multi-teraflop systems to the masses by 2010.  More objectives of this project, including software design, will be announced later during the Intel Developer Forum.

Intel also today announced the official name for its quad-core desktop and server CPU: the Core 2 Quad. As its name implies, the processor contains four cores and features a 1066MHz front-side bus. For benchmarks on the Core 2 Quad, you can check out DailyTech’s Kentsfield article from yesterday.

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Quake III @ 1.8million FPS!!!
By therealnickdanger on 9/26/2006 4:09:56 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously though, I can't wait to see it happen. We just need the rest of our computers to go faster...

RE: Quake III @ 1.8million FPS!!!
By Hare on 9/26/2006 4:46:44 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that most every day applications wont benefit much from multiple cores. Apps aren't simply multi-threaded and there a lots of tasks that cannot be ran paraller. Scientific calculations, media encoding etc however will benefit greatly.

Example: Quake (games in general) are even more troublesome since they need a lot of synchronization of the tasks. Really effective multi-threading is difficult to create.

By therealnickdanger on 9/26/2006 5:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that most every day applications wont benefit much from multiple cores...

I'm very aware of that, but since it is planned "for the masses" by 2010, I'm sure we'll have plenty of multi-threaded apps by then.

wouldnt it be like.... quake 5 or 6 by then?

Yeah, probably, but I'm just reminiscing about the days where Q3 was the de facto benchmark for CPUs...

RE: Quake III @ 1.8million FPS!!!
By swtethan on 9/26/2006 4:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
wouldnt it be like.... quake 5 or 6 by then?

RE: Quake III @ 1.8million FPS!!!
By fic2 on 9/26/2006 4:52:56 PM , Rating: 5
By then it will be Duke Nuke'm Forever! Oh, wait, probably not.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh
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