The Gigahertz war may be over, but it is making way for a new battle – the battle of the cores. Both Intel and AMD have been busy cranking up the number of cores in their latest line of processors. Nehalem-EX from Intel will feature 8 cores while Opteron Magny-Cours from AMD will include as many as 12 cores. But all of them will pale in comparison to the 100 core processor a relatively unknown start-up called Tilera is developing.
TILE-Gx Family of processors from Tilera is set for commercial release in 2011 and will be available in 16, 36, 64 and 100 core variants. All the processors are based on 40nm architecture, and according to Tilera, will outperform high-end Intel processors by a factor of four. TILE-Gx will reportedly consume between 10 to 55 watts of power, which is about a third of the power burned by a Nehalem. Tilera’s CEO, Omid Tahernia, expects these ultra-high performance processors to “open completely new computing possibilities”.
Tilera is a start-up specializing in scalable multicore processors. It started off as a Massachusetts Institute of Technology project funded by DARPA/NSF and became a start-up in 2007. Tilera’s processors are primarily aimed at commercial applications like cloud computing and video conferencing. While touching the 100-core mark is an achievement, only time will tell if Tilera can really deliver.