Researchers at the University of Glasgow, in conjunction with scientists at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, have built the first effective 1,000-core processor.
The team built a processor that uses Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) to mimic the action of individual processing cores, constructing a 1,000 core processor that they claim is over 20 times faster than mainstream computing systems.
"This is very early proof-of-concept work where we're trying to demonstrate a convenient way to program FPGAs so that their potential to provide very fast processing power could be used much more widely in future computing and electronics," said team leader Dr Wim Vanderbauwhede.
"While many existing technologies currently make use of FPGAs, including plasma and LCD televisions and computer network routers, their use in standard desk-top computers is limited.
"However, we are already seeing some microchips which combine traditional CPUs with FPGA chips being announced by developers, including Intel and ARM."
The team demonstrated the chip's abilities by processing an algorithm which is central to MPEG4 at 5GB/s. This kind of speed boost was achieved by programming each FPGA with its own memory system.
"I believe these kinds of processors will only become more common and help to speed up computers even further over the next few years," said Dr Vanderbauwhede.
Full details of the discovery will be presented at the International Symposium on Applied Reconfigurable Computing in March.
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