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Cores and effect

Moore’s Law is being given new life by massively parallel multicore processors. By Graham Pitcher.

The future for microprocessors is, without doubt, multicore. The fundamental physical challenges which chip designers face – with power dissipation close to the top of the list – mandate that the only way to get more computing power from a piece of silicon is to increase the number of processor cores.
Recently, Intel has taken a lead in this area, with the launch of devices featuring four processor cores – its so called QuadCore family. But a project underway in its research operation is taking that a bit further; it has demonstrated what is essentially a supercomputer on a chip. The device integrates 80 processor cores and is said to bring teraflop performance from a small piece of silicon and to consumer just 62W in the process. In fact, the company claims the device just breaks the teraflop barrier at 1.01Tflops when running at 3.16GHz.
“Our researchers have achieved a wonderful and key milestone in terms of being able to drive multicore and parallel computing performance forward,” said Justin Rattner, Intel’s senior fellow and chief technology officer. "It points the way to the near future when Teraflops capable designs will be commonplace and reshape what we can all expect from our computers and the internet at home and in the office.”

Graham Pitcher

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