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Intel bolsters massive parallel processor

Posted: 24 Jun 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Xeon Phi? supercomputer? massively parallel processor?

"The next generation of Xeon Phi processors will get more than just a processor speed-up. It will feature more than just a faster processor, but more integration of memory and greater processor power efficiency," says Wuischpard.

Other details provided by Wuischpard claimed three times the single-thread performance of the existing Xeon Phi16GB of on-package memory connected by DDR4 to a special Micron Hyper Memory Cube designed in collaboration with Intel. Wuischpard also claims the Silvermont Xeon Phi will take up one-third of the space, be five times more power efficient, and yet binary compatible with the existing Xeon Phi.

Omni Scale fabric

Two years ago, Cray Inc. sold its interconnection technology to Intel for $140million. Since then its team has been developing the next generation of that fabric, called Omni Scale. In turn, Cray recently announced that its supercomputer will be based on Intel's Knights Landing Xeon Phi.

At ISC-14 Intel has revealed that its next-gen Omni-Scale is a non-Infiniband optical fabric that will be integrated onto the Xeon Phi. It will be software-compatible with the last-generation True Scale Infiniband fabric but will not require separate PCIe cards. However, it will include PCIe connectors for people who do not want integration.

 Intel's next-generation Xeon Phi

Figure 2: Intel's next-generation Xeon Phi will top 3TFLOPS by using the Silvermont architecture, on-package integrated silicon photonics fabric, and 3D hybrid memory cubes jointly developed with Micron. (Source: Intel)

Omni Scale fabric will also be available integrated on regular Xeon cores in future 14nm processors, according to Wuischpard, and users will be able to upgrade from True Scale to Omni Scale photonics using existing optical connectors.

Lastly, Intel reconfirmed its commitment to educating programmers in the new techniques of coding for parallel processors. Its strategy is open parallel computing centres in major engineering universities.

"Intel has dramatically increased our investment in what we call the broader HPC ecosystem," Wuischpard told us. "In the last six months we have invested in over 30 parallel computing centres, typically grant-based collaborations with top researchers from around the world in two-year programmes. We are now reconfirming that commitment by opening four to eight new centres per quarter for the foreseeable future."

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