Intel Unveils Supercomputing Multicore Processor called KnightsCorner

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Intel Unveils Supercomputing Multicore Processor


The new Knight's Corner processor is based on Intel's many-core
architecture and draws on the Larrabee advanced graphics chip the
company placed on hold last year.

By Antone Gonsalves
InformationWeek
June 2, 2010 07:00 AM


Intel has unveiled a multicore supercomputing processor based in part
on technology from Larrabee, the codename for an advanced graphics
chip that was placed on hold late last year.

The new product, codenamed Knights Corner, is based on Intel's Many
Integrated Core architecture. The processor will scale to more than 50
processing cores and will be built on Intel's 22-nanometer
manufacturing process.


Intel is targeting Knights Corner at high-performance computing
applications found in oil and gas exploration, scientific research and
financial or climate simulation. The company introduced the new
product Monday at the International Supercomputing Conference in
Hamburg, Germany.
Intel also announced design and development kits for building
applications for the new product. Codenamed Knights Ferry, the tools,
which have been shipping to select developers, will be generally
available in the second half of 2010.

Despite perceptions, the performance penalty of virtualization is
marginal in many cases.


Intel said the MIC architecture is derived from several Intel
projects, including Larrabee and such Intel Labs research projects as
the single-chip cloud computer. The MIC architecture is separate from
Intel's Xeon chips used in mainstream business computing. The former
architecture is designed for highly parallel applications used in
supercomputing.

Without providing any details, Intel said in December 2009 that it
would not launch Larrabee as planned. In development for several
years, the chip was billed as a "many-core x86 architecture for visual
computing."

Before the suspension, Intel had demonstrated a working prototype at
the Intel Developer Forum three months earlier. Larrabee would have
competed against discrete graphics products from Nvidia and Advanced
Micro Devices' ATI division.

Nvidia and AMD offer modified versions of the multicore architecture
used in their graphics chips for high-performance computing.


http://www.informationweek.com/news/hardware/processors/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=225300059
 
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Robert Myers

parallax-scroll said:
Intel Unveils Supercomputing Multicore Processor
Intel said the MIC architecture is derived from several Intel
projects, including Larrabee and such Intel Labs research projects as
the single-chip cloud computer. The MIC architecture is separate from
Intel's Xeon chips used in mainstream business computing. The former
architecture is designed for highly parallel applications used in
supercomputing.
This is not good news for the kind of supercomputing I understand, which
is already bandwidth-bound. I've talked about this problem at length in
another forum, and there is little point in my going on about it here.
You can put more transistors on a chip from now until doomsday, but,
unless you can keep them fed, there is no point.

The cheapness of flops compared to bandwidth has already skewed
computational physics, and the appearance of chips like Knights Corner
will only make it worse. My prediction: more pretty plots and more Top
500 hype than ever. Less and less good computational physics.

Embarrassingly parallel applications will benefit, as always. There may
be applications in biology that I don't understand.

Robert.
 

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