Intel: a Teraflop on a Single Chip

Intel has built a prototype processor that has 80 cores that can perform a teraflop! They hope to have these chips in production and ready for commercial use in five years. Sounds good to me, hooty hooo!

System power consumption is only one part of the equation. During the next few years, Intel wants to improve the performance per watt of power consumption of its transistors by 300 percent through new manufacturing technologies and designs, Otellini said. The next step on that road, Intel’s 45-nanometer manufacturing technology, will enable the company to build chips that deliver a 20 percent improvement in performance with five times less current leakage, he said.

But the ultimate goal, as envisioned by Intel’s terascale research prototype, is to enable a trillion floating-point operations per second–a teraflop–on a single chip. Ten years ago, the ASCI Red supercomputer at Sandia National Laboratories became the first supercomputer to deliver 1 teraflop using 4,510 computing nodes.

Intel’s prototype uses 80 floating-point cores, each running at 3.16GHz, Justin Rattner, Intel’s chief technology officer, said in a speech following Otellini’s address. In order to move data in between individual cores and into memory, the company plans to use an on-chip interconnect fabric and stacked SRAM (static RAM) chips attached directly to the bottom of the chip, he said. Source:

They first mentioned this in 2001, when Intel began to warn about the dangers of heat dissipation in processors, they said at the time one of the solutions was to use multiple cores. Can’t wait to get hold of one of these puppies.

And, the new Quad core processors have 70 percent faster integer performance than the Core 2 Duos, so they once again regain the lead in performance over AMD.

If we get a processor this fast, it will have to be very expensive, unless Microsoft and future developers push the envelope in software, and we get hard drives that don’t slow us down, such as some huge hybrid drives, one would think these pc’s would be powerful enough to last a long time, and we wouldn’t need new computers as often.