Intel talking about its TFLOPS chip

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Intel has started talking a little more about its 80 core chip ahead of this week’s ISSCC in San Francisco. The AP also has some pretty good coverage of this story from Sunday.

Highlights? 1.01 TFLOPS, 62 Watts, 1 chip, 80 cores, 3.16 GHz. Interesting über-hype quote from both stories:

A similarly powerful supercomputer in 1996 at Sandia National Laboratories took up more than 2,000 square feet, used nearly 10,000 Pentium Pro processors, and consumed more than 500 kilowatts of electricity.

This comparison is probably unfair because the cores are much simpler than those on current chips (from the AP):

The research chip has 100 million transistors on it, about one-third the number on Intel’s current line of chips.

But, as Intel’s press release points out, the company has no plans to bring this chip to market as is.

However, the company’s Tera-scale research is instrumental in investigating new innovations in individual or specialized processor or core functions, the types of chip-to-chip and chip-to-computer interconnects required to best move data and most importantly, how software will need to be designed to best leverage multiple processor cores. This Teraflop research chip offered specific insights in new silicon design methodologies, high-bandwidth interconnects and energy management approaches.


  1. […] Recall that earlier this year Intel introduced a prototype 80 core chip which we’ve covered many times already. […]

  2. […] so I’m sympathetic to Intel’s concept chips. Two years ago it was the TFLOPS chip, and this week its Intel’s 48-core prototype. According to the press page, Intel is using the […]



    It appears that the chip is 32-bit, which is too small of an address space for an 80-thread program.

  2. Yes, I think there are lots of those kinds of issues that make this a proof of concept rather than a pre-implementation prototype. Intel’s CTO spends a little time talking about what one might do with 80 cores over on his blog at ZDnet. Most of it is non-scientific applications, but stimulating nonetheless.