Knights Corner Under the Hood

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Over at SemiAccurate, Charlie Demerjian has posted an in-depth look at Intel’s Knights Corner from the recent Hot Chips conference.

In the end, what you have is an unspecified number of cores, each grouped with an unspecified number of memory controllers, all running Linux. The world is reached with TCP/IP, and to the coder, it looks very much like a vanilla x86 cluster that is running MPI. While it isn’t perfect, or even a panacea, it sure beats learning a new architecture every generation or two. Couple this with a 22nm process that is at least a generation ahead of the competition, and you can pack more transistors in to a given power envelope, not to mention die area. Knights Corner may not have the peak numbers of a GPU, but it looks to be far more accessible in the real world than anything that has come before it.

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