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  1. #1
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    Terascale processors: 80 cores enough for you?

    Update (02-11-2007): I just put up a new article that looks at some more details on Intel's 80-core Terascale processing design here: http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=363

    Let's continue the discussion on this topic here!

    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=302

    If you haven't read this article yet, you should definitely check it out. Intel was talking about an 80 core processor that had static RAM physically attached to the die that would allow for super-fast threaded processing. The future of your desktop maybe?

    Please Digg this to share it with other, too!
    Last edited by Ryan; 02-11-2007 at 09:46 PM.
    Ryan Shrout
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  2. #2
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    Re: Terascale processors: 80 cores enough for you?

    its not x86 compliant, and it wont be a user level chip at anyrate, so to me its kinda a "who cares" situatuion

  3. #3
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    Re: Terascale processors: 80 cores enough for you?

    its not x86 compliant, and it wont be a user level chip at anyrate, so to me its kinda a "who cares" situatuion
    Little too quick a jump on that one, first gen aren't but the first gen are for research.

    If the first gen and the market show a use for this tech, then you'll see a move to implement this. ( Scale of course will most likely not match the 80 core per die.)

  4. #4
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    Re: Terascale processors: 80 cores enough for you?

    Bryan is correct -- Intel has stated that eventually these are to be older, IA cores; like original Pentiums shrunk down or something of that nature and are very x86 compliant then.
    Ryan Shrout
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  5. #5
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    Re: Terascale processors: 80 cores enough for you?

    I read about half-way through the article (very well written BTW, IMHO) and then jumped to the end, so maybe I missed the answer to my question, which basically is one general Q: what will be the end result of such processors? In other words, what purpose will these serve? I can guess, e.g., multi-media, hi-res video, maybe medical technology, stuff like that. But I'm curious what Intel and others see as the need/s that such processors will fill. Will it be simply shrink what now takes many systems to compute, e.g., such as the google server farms, stuff like that? Or are there some new uses out there on the horizon that us mere mortals just don't see yet? Thanks.

    marty
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  6. #6
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    Re: Terascale processors: 80 cores enough for you?

    Thanks for the comments, but you SHOULD read the whole thing.

    But yes, you are basically correct: the terascale projects are targeted towards this "massive data" problem where these is just too information to be used in some instances. For example, searching through video: imagine being able to go to YouTube and search for New York, and instead of the search being based on tags or titles, the servers can actually parse the video code and try to evalute if it has something it thinks LOOKS like New York in it?

    That kind of stuff is possible, but not on today's hardware.
    Ryan Shrout
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  7. #7
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    Re: Terascale processors: 80 cores enough for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
    Thanks for the comments, but you SHOULD read the whole thing.
    Hey, I'm at work!!
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  8. #8
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    Re: Terascale processors: 80 cores enough for you?

    Boss won't mind; trust me! In fact, I think you should send him a link!
    Ryan Shrout
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  9. #9
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    Re: Terascale processors: 80 cores enough for you?

    forget where i read it, some article about the future of multi core processors, but aren't there cpu's out there with 100's and even 1000 seperate cores? obviously not desktop cpu's, but seperate cores none the less.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Terascale processors: 80 cores enough for you?

    sparc/ultra sparc chips are multi core RISC beasts made by sun microsystems and sold in systems comming with solaris(sun unix) even older sparc boxes are EXTREAMLY fast, my buddy has 3 he got cheap as hell from merkortech and ebay, 150mhz unit, works great as a basick desktop, at least as fast as a cheap p4 from dell, 3xxmhz ver is a bit peppyer and runs a new version of solaris, its nice, nothing grand but VERY fast compared to anything in the clock range from amd/intel/via, the last is his 500mhz unit, its easly in use as fast as most current workstation desktops, its VERY effective, he payed all of 200bucks for it on ebay, came with 1gb ram, 4x15gb uwscsi hdd's, onboard gfx are steller(not gaming, hell its not even x86 compatable :P )

    hes thinking of being kool and giving me the 500mhz unit to learn solaris on once his work gets him a sparc lappy(3.5k lappy that can work as a true full powered buisness class server/workstation, insainly powerfull, saw the demo unit sun brought out for them to test, just steller.....)

    suns chips are smart by design, alot of pretty simple cores working togather to get massive work done, coded for these cores apps excell, older stuff coded for more complex cores well it runs, just not as well(duh totaly new design phylosify.)

  11. #11
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    Re: Terascale processors: 80 cores enough for you?

    Another thought to add: you can consider a GPU to be a mult-core processor too. If we view each pixel pipe as its own core, then the ATI X1900 cards have 48 cores, plus their vertex pipes.

    The definition of a processor "core" is still a bit vague at this point.
    Ryan Shrout
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  12. #12
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    Re: Terascale processors: 80 cores enough for you?

    and how exactly does the wafer they demonstrate actually work?

    It's not like they put the wafer into a "wafer socket" like you would a motherboard battery.

    My guess is that this is really more a "proof of concept" wafer and they just added in the capabilities of all 80 cores.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Terascale processors: 80 cores enough for you?

    There's this link:

    http://techreport.com/onearticle.x/10900

    which then links to youtube showing a new game using four cores. It all appears on the up and up, and IMHO I think it puts to rest any questions of whether 80 cores will be enough.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Terascale processors: 80 cores enough for you?

    which then links to youtube showing a new game using four cores. It all appears on the up and up, and IMHO I think it puts to rest any questions of whether 80 cores will be enough
    Big leap between 4 cores to 80 cores, and even the question about four cores doesn't really make a case against more powerful single core designs.

    Its taken awhile for software designers to start supporting multi-core support for desktop appilications.

    As the original article mentioned the two biggest problems are feeding the processors and making sure the system can handle the flow.

    Also, do word processing workstations really need 80 cores or will this lead to software design bloat to make up for the feed?

  15. #15
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    Re: Terascale processors: 80 cores enough for you?

    I guess my point is that it's just a matter of time. Sure, 80 cores won't happen by next year, but perhaps in 3 - 5 years. Also, there has been lots of talk of how games currently only use single processors. Well, that link shows multi-core games just around the corner. And I certainly can envision how non-gamers, at home or in business and academe, would love to have a separate core for each of the 5 or 6 programs that are constantly open on their desktops. I mean, I can even imagine AV and anti-spyware scanning and being updated 24/7 if they had their own core, especially if the proliferation of malware continues.

    And then there's vista, 64-bit processing, and dx10. Nope, I suspect 80 cores (okay, 16, 32, 64) will be adopted and embraced much faster than any of us could have imagined six months ago.

    My 2 cents on Friday night.

    marty
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