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Intel Showcases Knights Corner Teraflop Chip

Intel has unveiled the world's first chip capable of reaching one teraflop - one trillion calculations per second - although it does so with the help of "more than" 50 cores, Intel didn't say exactly how many.

It is amazing - and homage to Intel - to think that 14 years ago, a whopping 9300 Pentium II processors would have to be bundled together in 72 computing cabinets in order to reach the same performance.

The chip, which is called Knights Corner, was demoed at a super computing conference SC2011 in Seattle and will go against the likes of Nvidia and AMD which have both taken the route of the GPGPU.

Knights Corner acts like a coprocessor and comes as a card that uses a PCI-Express slot. Like similar products from rivals such as AMD's Firepro or Nvidia's Tesla, it will run alongside a traditional CPU like an Intel Xeon.

Intel has been pouring resources into its "Many Integrated Core" architecture, one which will initially aim at the HPC market but which will trickle down over the years to consumers.

When we last looked at Intel's MIC roadmap, Knights Corner had only 32 cores running at 1.2GHz with four instruction threads each and 64KB L1 cache.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.