Intel develops teraflop chips

Intel has designed a computer chip that promises to perform calculations as quickly an entire data center – while consuming as much energy as a light bulb.

The world’s biggest chipmaker said on Sunday it developed a programmable processor that can perform about a trillion calculations per second, or deliver a performance of 1.01 teraflops. It accomplishes this feat while consuming 62 watts of power when the chip is running at a frequency of 3.16 gigahertz.

A similarly powerful supercomputer in 1996 at Sandia National Laboratories took up more than 600 square metres, used nearly 10,000 Pentium Pro processors, and consumed more than 500 kilowatts of electricity.

Intel’s latest chip is still in the research phase, but it marks an important breakthrough for an industry obsessed with obtaining the highest amount of performance for the lowest energy consumption.

Technology experts praised Intel for devising a clever way to get 80 core calculating engines onto a single slice of silicon.

The cores used on the research chip are much smaller and simpler than those used in Intel’s latest line of chips, which have two or four cores. The research chip has 100 million transistors on it, about one-third the number on Intel’s current line of chips.

The first uses for the chips would likely be in corporate data centers, supercomputers, communications infrastructures and for heavy-duty financial and scientific research.

Source: SMH

Related Links: Intel Corporation, Intel @ Wiki