Posts Tagged ‘Intel’

Intel’s 48-core processor to compete with the human brain

December 10, 2009

Pushing several steps farther in the multicore direction, Intel demonstrated a fully programmable 48-core processor on December 2.  The company believes that it will pave the way for massive data computers powerful enough to do more of what humans can.

The 1.3-billion transistor processor, called Single-chip Cloud Computer (SCC) is successor generation to the 80-core “Polaris” processor that Intel’s Tera-scale research project produced in 2007. Unlike that precursor though the second-generation model is able to run the standard software of Intel’s x86 chips such as its Pentium and Core models.

The cores themselves aren’t terribly powerful–more like lower-end Atom processors than Intel’s flagship Nehalem models according to Intel Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner at a recent press event.   He went on to say that “collectively they pack a lot of power”  and that Intel has ambitious goals in mind for the overall project.  “The machine will be capable of understanding the world around them much as humans do,” Rattner said. “They will see and hear and probably speak and do a number of other things that resemble human-like capabilities, and will demand as a result very (powerful) computing capability.”

Intel is working with companies facing large-scale computing challenges that today require thousands of networked servers. This is pretty much a here-and-now problem compared to the more sci-fi challenges of computer vision! The chipmaker found only one flaw with the chip so far and has booted Windows and Linux on SCC systems. The company has also demonstrated computers using the processor running Microsoft’s Visual Studio on Windows and other tasks.