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Intel Tera-scale preparing for thousands of cores

Posted on Thursday, July 03 2008 @ 08:25:07 CEST by

Intel Tera-scale Computing Research Program co-director Jerry Bautista said in an interview that Intel is getting serious about ramping up its processor cores. Bautista said "The more cores we have the better. Provided that we can supply memory bandwidth to the device."
On Monday, an Intel engineer took this a step further. Writing in a blog, Anwar Ghuloum, a principal engineer with Intel's Microprocessor Technology Lab, said: "Ultimately, the advice I'll offer is that...developers should start thinking about tens, hundreds, and thousands of cores now."

He said that Intel faces a challenge in "explaining how to tap into this performance." He continues: "Sometimes, the developers are trying to do the minimal amount of work they need to do to tap dual- and quad-core performance...I suppose this was the branch most discussions took a couple of years ago."

Now, however, Intel is increasingly "discussing how to scale performance to core counts that we aren't yet shipping...Dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of cores are not unusual design points around which the conversations meander," he said.

He says that the more radical programming path to tap into many processing cores "presents the 'opportunity' for a major refactoring of their code base, including changes in languages, libraries, and engineering methodologies and conventions they've adhered to for (often) most of the their software's existence."



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