Processor manufacturer Tilera has announced the world's first 100-core processor, with a design that it hopes will revolutionise the field of high-performance computing.
The company claims that the TILE-Gx100 processor is four times faster than anything else on the market, and delivers 10 times the performance per watt.
"This is truly a remarkable technology achievement," said Tilera chief executive Omid Tahernia.
"Customers will be able to replace an entire board presently using a dozen or more chips with just one of our TILE-Gx processors, greatly simplifying the system architecture and resulting in reduced cost, power consumption and PC board area."
Intel and AMD are already building small numbers of very powerful cores, but Tilera's design relies on a larger network of lower powered processors interlinked to allow each chip to share the resources of the others and scale power up or down as needed.
"At various points in microprocessor history there have been breakthroughs that have enabled significant advances in computing, such as when the barrier of single-core clock speed was overcome by the introduction of multi-core," said Sergis Mushell, a principal research analyst at Gartner.
"Cloud computing and virtualisation have ushered in a new era of processing power optimisation and utilisation, which has accelerated the roadmaps for multi-core architectures, and changed the paradigm from clock frequency to a new discussion about number of cores and core optimisation."
The 40nm GX-100 will be available in the first half of 2011, and Tilera will be targeting high-performance web applications and search systems.
Microsoft and Linux systems have not yet been ported to the chip, and a lot will depend on the support of the developer community if the GX-100 is to succeed.
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