Intel aims for 32 cores by 2010

“Five years ago, Intel envisioned processors running at 20 GHz by the end of this decade. Today we know that the future will look different. CPUs will sacrifice clock speed over core count: Intel’s first “many core” CPU, will run at only two thirds of the clock speed of today’s fastest Xeon CPU – but achieve 15x the performance, thanks to 32 cores,” Wolfgang Gruener reports for TG Daily.

“So far, it has been unclear when those “many-cores” will actually be available. Documents provided by an industry source and seen by TG Daily, however, indicate that at least “dozens of cores” may be still some time away. The first processor of “Keifer” – Intel’s project name for many-core processors – will be surfacing in the 2009/2010 time frame and integrate 32 cores (128 threads total): The first Keifer chip will be manufactured in 32 nm and use eight processing nodes with four cores each. Every node will have direct access to one 3 MB on-die last level cache (LLC) and 512 kB L2 cache. There will be a total of 8 x 3 MB LLC slices that are connected by a ring architecture and represent a total 24 MB of cache,” Gruener reports.

“Intel does not consider AMD’s Opteron and successors as Kevet’s and Keifer’s benchmark. The documents seen by TG Daily aim Keifer at Sun’s “Niagara” architecture, which is currently available in the “Ultra Sparc T1″ processor. The T1 was launched last year with great fanfare as 1.2 GHz 8-core processor with 3 MB L2 cache and capable of handling a total 32 threads at a peak power of just 72 watts,” Gruener reports. “Intel can’t touch the performance of the T1 in its home turf at this time and the specifications of Niagara’s successors are widely based on speculations… Intel knows that a simple increase of threads combined with “multi-core” processors won’t allow the company to keep Sun’s pace. Engineers at the firm believe that a new architecture – which is rumored to be launched in 2008 – and 32 cores are necessary to catch up and ultimately trump Sun in the 2009/2010 time frame: Key to Intel’s advantage may be clock speed, once again: The company estimates that Niagara III won’t be able to run faster than 2.0 GHz – while Keifer will run at least at 2.0 GHz.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Herm,” “Judge Bork, ” and “LinuxGuy” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: AMD and toast: virtually indistinguishable.

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  1. Apple advertisement in the Year 2012:

    “Experience the new (Power)mac 64.
    64 stands not for 64 bit, but 64 cores…”

    excuse me while i mount my time machine, i can’t wait to get one…

  2. back in the early 90s – in college – i told people that increased speeds were not going to be as important as having multiprocessing operating systems and simply throwing additional processors at the problem.

    I was wrong in thinking that they would be packaged separately in discrete processing units – i saw things like upgrade cards in the IIci and such as the way it would go.

    I was an Amiga user, and so, the idea of getting multiple processors involved seemed the most reasonable to me, rather that just faster and faster all the time.

  3. When I get that chip in whatever tower Apple has at the time (or whatever new enclosure design they come up with) and couple it with that new RAM from Freescale, then Photoshop should be able to read my mind and work in real time. No more mouse and keyboard – the computer will be able to read brainwaves.

  4. The reason Intel is bragging about 32 core processors is because of the Cell+, it’s been strangly silent at IBM/Sony/Toshiba lately.

    Also strangly silent from Apple.

    Remember folks, Apple sold a SH*TLOAD of hardware when they were the only ones with the G5 processor. Scientists love Cell+.

    Also another clue, where are the video card upgrade options for PCI-X based G5’s?

    Is it because the Cell+ can do the video rendering itself a heck of a lot cheaper than a dedicated GPU? And now the video card hardware companies don’t see much of a future in Apple Towers so they are winding down the Mac part of their buisness?

    Apple is able to place 4 Cell+’s in a box, no problem.

    32 cores on a processor substancially lowers the yield and increases the heat, it’s not going to happen.

    Even dual cores are not cool enough for laptops…er notebooks.

  5. PennyPacker,

    The true performance of a computer is not how fast it can run, but how much work it can get done in a certain amount of time. The plan until now has been to get essentially single-lane processors as fast as possible, but due to physics, too much heat was being generated.

    The human brain processes in parallel. Why not computers? Well, that’s the new approach.

    Multiple cores can simultaneously do computations at a slower speed (which means less heat), and still get more work done after a given amount of time.

    Does that answer your question?

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