Holy Mega Multitasking, Batman! Intel Handing Out Samples of Experimental 48-Core Chip

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News Posted: Thu, Apr 8 2010 10:18 AM
Just when you thought your 6-core chip was the baddest processor on the planet, Intel goes and announces plans to ship PCs equipped with an experimental 48-core CPU to a handful of lucky researchers sometime by the end of the second quarter.

That doesn't mean that you just wasted $1,100 and that your Core i7 980X is suddenly obsolete. As part of a research project, the 48-core part might never become commercially available, and if it did, it would be destined for mainframes and supercomputing tasks, not home desktops.



At the same time, there is reason to envy. The underlying architecture of the 48-core part includes tweaks that reduce memory and communication bottlenecks inherent in all current x86 processors. The 48 cores are arranged with multiple connect points in a serial mesh network to transfer data between cores. Each core also has on-chip buffers to instantly exchange data in parallel across all cores.


Intel Terascale 48-Core Test Board - Video demo after the break...

According to Sean Koehl, technology evangelist with Intel Labs, remarkably the 48-core part only draws between 25W and 125W, and cores can be slowed down or shut off completely in order to save power.

Intel speaks to their 48-core Terascale technology in this recently released video promo...


"With a chip like this, you could imagine a cloud datacenter of the future which will be an order of magnitude more energy efficient than what exists today, saving significant resources on space and power costs," said Justin Rattner, head of Intel Labs and Intel's Chief Technology Officer. "Over time, I expect these advanced concepts to find their way into mainstream devices, just as advanced automotive technology such as electronic engine control, air bags and anti-lock braking eventually found their way into all cars."
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la_guy_10 replied on Thu, Apr 8 2010 10:33 AM

The core count continues on, It will be processors like these that will power the home as me and rapid1 spoke about yesterday. Each core will handle a specific task and from what I can gather there will be no bottleneck for data as is transferred across the cores. What was surprising though was how low the TDP was for a 48 core part man this chip is what I call efficient!!!!!! When I put things in perspective I see where the high core count is geared toward and that is cloud computing, high end servers, supercomputers, ect. I first though these were geared toward home users maybe as Intel went this route with Larrabee, but clearly they have other plans for now to utilize this horsepower, and I am ok with that. The Geek in me was just hoping it was for the masses, buy now I understand. Now we will see if AMD will counter, it is really not a matter of if,,,but when.

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Apr 8 2010 10:50 AM

Very well stated la_guy. In a home usage pattern I could not see a need for this. However; the cloud thing is a yes and no I think. I see the point in it, but I don't know exactly how it will impact the home. I could see a 12 core maybe even a 16 in a home for the whole house, it's management, and all the users of it. Something like a home cloud, then everything else in the house is something like a notebook, or a tablet. I don't think we are moving to the point where there are less desktops though. I think it will be more personally. I think everyone will have a desktop at home, then there will be a home server, then everyone will also have a mobile unit which of course as we've seen recently can be a smart phone/tablet/netbook or notebook when mobile.

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la_guy_10 replied on Thu, Apr 8 2010 11:04 AM

Well I read a few years back where Bill Gates was saying he envisioned a day where the computer was integrated throughout the house and ran by a remote such as the lights adjusting when you get home for your liking automatically, The air temp automatically adjust to your liking the lighting adjust to your liking, ect ect. The TV would transform into a touch screen displaying stock quotes, weather, news, all at your fingertips. Basically the whole house would be integrated into a OS that could be tailored for each user. Again I might be getting ahead of myself with this but I do see a day where this could become a reality and this will require lots of CPU muscle.

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Wow... Intel, can I have one?

I will be happy to know that in my lifetime, I have a chance to buy a processor that will have over 9000 cores (well, at least I hope lol)

But on a serious note, we just need software to take advantage of these n-core processors. We're still behind on that :P

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Kyouya replied on Thu, Apr 8 2010 11:40 AM

That doesn't mean that you just wasted $1,100 and that your Core i7 980X is suddenly obsolete. ---> I don't think anyone would purchase an overpriced cpu right now unless they are filthy rich.

Let's think of the race between AMD and Intel that has been ongoing for over two decades. First, it was the MHZ race...to see which one can go fastest. Then, it was the GHZ race...to see which one can go fastest again. Now, it's the core race...to see which cpu has the most core. Let's not forget the ongoing NM race as well where both manufacturers are finding ways to make their CPUs cost efficient. (I'm sure I missed some other competition set out by AMD and Intel but you get the idea).

There is a flaw to this race. It seems that the 3rd parties don't really care for it because there are no software that supports the race between AMD and Intel.

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Kyouya:

There is a flaw to this race. It seems that the 3rd parties don't really care for it because there are no software that supports the race between AMD and Intel.

I'd have to disagree.  It's not that companies don't care, it's 1) there are programmers out there that don't know how to code with respect to multiple threads which 2) companies have to invest on programmers that know this stuff.  3) It is a little more time consuming to code due to the complexity of multiple threads... also which costs companies money.

But it is catching on as there are companies that are aware of the potential of multi-core processors and can use that as a competitive advantage.  I know a professor in my university that is really excited about this stuff and he runs a company that is teaching/doing research with other groups and companies on the benefits of multi-core processors.

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greyad replied on Thu, Apr 8 2010 5:53 PM

48 cores with a tdp of 125 :X...well then how does 6 cores have 130 tdp??

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la_guy_10:

Well I read a few years back where Bill Gates was saying he envisioned a day where the computer was integrated throughout the house and ran by a remote such as the lights adjusting when you get home for your liking automatically, The air temp automatically adjust to your liking the lighting adjust to your liking, ect ect. The TV would transform into a touch screen displaying stock quotes, weather, news, all at your fingertips. Basically the whole house would be integrated into a OS that could be tailored for each user. Again I might be getting ahead of myself with this but I do see a day where this could become a reality and this will require lots of CPU muscle.

I used to watch this show that came on Discovery Channel, it was called Next World. Popular Science's Future Of....covered a bit on it as well. What Bill Gates was imagining exists, but it's so advanced that the odds of it becoming marketed to the general public within the next 20 years is very slim. 

Everything you said is practically exactly what these smart homes are capable of, it's designed specifically to make the owners life easier at the home. While they are away, robots would be cleaning the house and taking stock reports on how much food is in the pantry. I don't mean android like robots, but those little robotic vacuum cleaners that you see on the commercials. 

It's way cool. I would love to have one eventually. 

But in regards to the 48-core ship. I like how they are just "handing out samples" haha. If I was running a server I would definitely consider this. Come to think of it, I know a few gaming companies that could use it, their servers are terrible. 

 

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Is this Copy and past forum Huh?

"la_guy_10:

Well I read a few years back where Bill Gates was saying he envisioned a day where the computer was integrated throughout the house and ran by a remote such as the lights adjusting when you get home for your liking automatically, The air temp automatically adjust to your liking the lighting adjust to your liking, ect ect. The TV would transform into a touch screen displaying stock quotes, weather, news, all at your fingertips. Basically the whole house would be integrated into a OS that could be tailored for each user. Again I might be getting ahead of myself with this but I do see a day where this could become a reality and this will require lots of CPU muscle.

I used to watch this show that came on Discovery Channel, it was called Next World. Popular Science's Future Of....covered a bit on it as well. What Bill Gates was imagining exists, but it's so advanced that the odds of it becoming marketed to the general public within the next 20 years is very slim.

Everything you said is practically exactly what these smart homes are capable of, it's designed specifically to make the owners life easier at the home. While they are away, robots would be cleaning the house and taking stock reports on how much food is in the pantry. I don't mean android like robots, but those little robotic vacuum cleaners that you see on the commercials.

It's way cool. I would love to have one eventually.

But in regards to the 48-core ship. I like how they are just "handing out samples" haha. If I was running a server I would definitely consider this. Come to think of it, I know a few gaming companies that could use it, their servers are terrible. "

--For a home workstation this would definitely be ideal! Something like this could be setup in a closet rack system, so it can control all your Home theatre content, as well as the functions of the house along with all computing needs.

You will probably need something like 24 Video cards to go along with it. Then you would also have to build it inside a refrigerator just to keep it cool. Even now a total house system is possible. You just have to buy quite a bit of equipment and be running at least two CPU's on a server board.

I am sure that pretty soon these will be a standard, then replaced by the next generation of processing, like crystal data storage/ processing.

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realneil replied on Fri, Apr 9 2010 11:54 AM

How would this do for Folding@Home?

Heh-Heh!

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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tjc59 replied on Sat, Apr 10 2010 12:31 PM

I can remember while in high school reading a SF short story about a house that ran itself.. turned on the light, started the coffee pot, fixed a breakfast.... etc. The whole time there wasn't anyone home. I can't remember the name of either the writer or the story, but I do remember the jest of it. Now today it's possible.

I can see a whole market for code writers designing programs (maybe in open source) for homes that would run far more efficiently with chips like these. Sensor pads under the carpet able to tell which family member was were. Programs in the kitchen that kept track of and provided the best meals for each member.. little Jonny needs to lose 2 pounds so he's eating mostly salad today. lol

Sara is in the 4th grade, her ipad data from school is instantly downloaded to determine what her homework is. A program is uploaded from the school's central computer to help her in troubled areas... etc.

It truly is a wired world.

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jazzcat replied on Sat, Apr 10 2010 3:26 PM

I find it entertaining how several posters think that a 48 core chip will be required for "smart home" technology. All of what is being discussed here with regards to smart home capabilities - maybe with the exception of the video - can be handled by a previous generation, 15 watt Atom or ARM chip.

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jazzcat:

I find it entertaining how several posters think that a 48 core chip will be required for "smart home" technology. All of what is being discussed here with regards to smart home capabilities - maybe with the exception of the video - can be handled by a previous generation, 15 watt Atom or ARM chip.

You must live in a smart home then! Stick out tongue

 

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tjc59 replied on Sat, Apr 10 2010 4:57 PM

I am glad I can be entertaining to someone other than myself. :-)

I was just noticing that 34 years ago I read a story and now the story has come to life. Yes, we can run smart homes with current generations of chips, but one with 48 cores is the beginning of a home having a personality. A program that can anticipate within a reasonable amount of givens rather than just (if this, then that). I picked the name Sara as quiet joke to those who watch Eureka on the sf channel. :-)

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MBagley replied on Sat, Apr 10 2010 5:08 PM

For those of you talking about "Smart Homes," it's already available and most of it is fairly inexpensive in regards to what it's actually designed for. Remember that Home Automation is a luxury, not a requirement. That being said, it's inexpensive for a luxury item. Just Google "Home Automation" and you'll see all of the results and possibilities. Pretty much anything you can think of is possible already.

I don't think that this 48-core chip will be appropriate anytime in the near future for Home Automation.I agree with jazzcat. Also, +1 to tjc59 - love that show! =)

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Stuart21 replied on Sun, Apr 11 2010 12:23 PM

INVENTORS - DO NOT TRUST INTEL!!!

I invented a CPU cooler - 3 times better than best - better than water. Intel have major CPU cooling problems - "Intel's microprocessors were generating so much heat that they were melting" (iht.com) - try to talk to them - they send my communications to my competitor & will not talk to me.

Winners of major 'Corporate Social Responsibility' awardS!!!

Huh!!!!

When did RICO get repealed?"

INVENTORS - DO NOT TRUST INTEL!!!

BTW, I have the evidence - my competitor gave it to me.

BBTW, I am prepared to apologise to Intel if;

• They can show that the actions were those of a single individual in the company, acting outside corporate policy, and:

• They gain redress on my behalf.

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Something like Sara would be great. ^_^

These are intresting expecially when you look at what people were doing with the Cell processor and Supercomputing.

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AKwyn replied on Sun, Apr 11 2010 10:38 PM

Stuart21:

INVENTORS - DO NOT TRUST INTEL!!!

I invented a CPU cooler - 3 times better than best - better than water. Intel have major CPU cooling problems - "Intel's microprocessors were generating so much heat that they were melting" (iht.com) - try to talk to them - they send my communications to my competitor & will not talk to me.

Winners of major 'Corporate Social Responsibility' awardS!!!

Huh!!!!

When did RICO get repealed?"

INVENTORS - DO NOT TRUST INTEL!!!

BTW, I have the evidence - my competitor gave it to me.

BBTW, I am prepared to apologise to Intel if;

• They can show that the actions were those of a single individual in the company, acting outside corporate policy, and:

• They gain redress on my behalf.

Really. If your claims were true then I wouldn't be typing this right now and I wouldn't be buying a new Intel processor, how can they run so hot they'll melt? Last time I heard, high heat degrades the processor giving it a lower life span, now if the processor was 200 degrees in either Celsius or Fahrenheit or something then it would melt. Even a Pentium D processor, however hot it is, would not melt.

Also what is this CPU cooler that's apparently cooler then water? You apparently forgot about liquid nitrogen which is a lot cooler then water and used to get extreme clockspeeds in overclocking sessions. Well what is it, mind to show the entire forum what it is. I ensure you that Intel is not watching over this forum because they have better things to do then worry about some "inventor" which some "CPU cooler that's cooler then water".

 

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Whatever!! We reverse engineer everything!!

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