21 June 2011

Power savings for cloud computing centres

Looking to satisfy the power efficiency needs of companies providing cloud computing services, Tilera has launched the Tile-Gx 3000 processor family. The many core devices are said to bring an order of magnitude improvement in performance compared to competing processors.

"We have been working with the largest cloud computing companies for two years to design a processor that addresses their biggest pain points," said Ihab Bishara, Tilera's director of server solutions. "The Gx-3000 series provides the order of magnitude improvements the industry is looking for."
The TILEGx-3000 series currently features three processors. One 36 core TILEGx-3000 based system is said to replace a single socket SandyBridge eight core server; a 64 core based system will replace a dual socket eight core SandyBridge based server, while the 100 core implementation will replace a quad socket eight core SandyBridge server.
Each core comprises a three issue 64bit alu, along with 32kbyte instruction and data caches and a 256kbyte L2 cache. Meanwhile, each device has up to 32Mbyte of L3 cache memory.
Bishara added: "This is Tilera's second generation of processors targeted at cloud applications, but they aren't intended for use in every server. These are aimed at aapplications that run across thousands of servers." More specifically, Bishara said the processors are aimed at Linux based applications.
A 36 core TILE-Gx 3000 device consumes 20W. Bishara says the eight core SandyBridge chip it might replace consumes more than 120W. "That's a huge saving and doesn't include the chipset, the bigger fans needed to cool equipment and so on. When you add up the whole string, you get the tenfold power improvement."
Tilera is using TSMC's 40nm process for the parts. The 36 core device will sample in July, with the 64 and 100 core parts following early in 2012.

Graham Pitcher

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