Feeds

Intel's lab crew makes case for 80-core world

CSI: It's optical

Boost IT visibility and business value

Exclusive I have seen the future. It's full of Agilent testing equipment, clunky Nvidia drivers and enthusiastic, well-educated men.

The future didn't always look this way - at least not at Intel, where "GHz=God" wallpaper used to cover cubicle walls. The chip maker once indoctrinated workers with the religion of speed and did everything possible to convince consumers that a 2.0GHz chip made life so much more bearable than a 1.8GHz part. Intel relied on GHz tweaks to feel good about itself and thought about speed, speed, speed all the time.

Under these conditions, Intel's future appeared white hot. Well, actually, it was more of a rocket nozzle/surface of the sun hot. You all remember the slide Intel's then VP Pat Gelsinger would toss out to show just how hot Intel could make a chip in two, five and ten years' time.

But then the industry shifted to multi-core chips where the so-called "platform" matters more than GHz. Getting consumers and software makers to embrace the "platform" mentality takes some serious work. At Intel, it's the labs teams that have accepted the brain-bending challenge.

Terable PCs

Where the Intel of today has four-core processors, the Intel of tomorrow will have 80-core, 100-core and 120-core chips.

Explaining the need for so many cores proves easy enough for the server set. Customers at research labs and giant companies always want more horsepower.

These clients are already being fed a decent helping of multi-threaded software that can fly across the complex, multi-core processors. Myriad benchmarks exist that show the software performance improvements derived from multi-core chips. Real world customer code often tells the same story. So, while some still long for relentless single thread boosts, the corporate majority has accepted the multi-core future.

The case for so-called terascale processors on the PC seems tougher to make.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids
Mile-High 'Denver' Tegra K1 successor said to rival PC performance
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.