Yes. Fifty cores. Five zero. All on a single, tiny chip. It's real.
Intel beamed over their 50-core "Knights Ferry" (or Knights Corner) processor yesterday at a supercomputing conference in Seattle, Brier Dudley of the Seattle Times reports. And they have good reason. The tiny chip is capable of 1 teraflop of processing power—an esoteric way of calculating how fast a chip is at crunching numbers. By comparison, the fastest Core i7 can only crank out 109 gigaflops. Stuffing this many cores onto one processor has pushed Intel to the point of just labeling it a "many" core chip—at a certain point, the number of cores becomes an abstraction.
Knights Corner/Ferry isn't meant to be a computer's main brain, but rather a programmable co-processor that'll do hugely heavy lifting handed to it by a CPU. But there's no doubt that core count is the future, and the race to push the "many" in man cores is on. This tech will be in your tablet, eventually. Remember when it was about megahertz? Barely. [Seattle Times and MarketWatch]
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