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Intel equips many-core processor for high-computing apps

Posted: 02 Jun 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:processor? Intel many-core? x86? high-computing application?

Targeting applications in high-performance computing, Intel Corp. plans to offer the "Knights Corner" many-core processor implemented 22nm process and integrate more than 50 processors.

Intel is classifying the many-core x86 processors as examples of the Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture. Intel said that the majority of computing workloads would run best on Intel's Xeon processors, but that the MIC architecture would help accelerate selected highly parallel applications.

Knights Corner targets high-performance computing segments such as exploration, scientific research and financial or climate simulation, Intel said.

Intel did not indicate when it would deliver the Knights Corner processor or how many cores it would have, but said that design and development kits codenamed "Knights Ferry" are being shipped to select developers. Beginning in the second half of 2010, Intel said it plans to deliver a range of developer tools for the MIC architecture.

The chip giant pointed out that it plans to make software tools and optimization techniques common between the Intel Xeon and MIC processor ranges where they will support diverse programming models. The MIC architecture is derived from several Intel projects, including "Larrabee" and such Intel Labs research projects as the 48-cored single-chip cloud computer.

"The CERN Openlab team was able to migrate a complex C++ parallel benchmark to the Intel MIC software development platform in just a few days," said Sverre Jarp, CTO of CERN Openlab, in a statement issued by Intel. "The familiar hardware programming model allowed us to get the software running much faster than expected."

"Intel's Xeon processors, and now our new Intel Many Integrated Core architecture products, will further push the boundaries of science and discovery as Intel accelerates solutions to some of humanity's most challenging problems," said Kirk Skaugen, VP and general manager of Intel's data center group, in the same statement. "The Intel MIC architecture will extend Intel's leading HPC products and solutions that are already in nearly 82 percent of the world's top supercomputers."

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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