Intel Develops 128-core Terascale Superchip

Illustration for article titled Intel Develops 128-core Terascale Superchip

Last week Intel announced that it had developed a Terascale Superchip — a supercomputer with 128 cores that's a bit bigger than a postage stamp. It can perform at a teraflop, or a trillion operations per second, which should be enough power to run Half-Life 3 at 60 fps and full resolution.


What's truly amazing is that this amount of computing power required a computer that filled a 2,000 square foot room back in 1996. A mere decade later, and the same power comes on a single chip and requires 1/1,000th of the energy.

Intel hopes to have these tiny chips loaded into consumer devices such as cellphones in the next decade, paving the way for applications such as real-time language translation and whatever the porn industry can think up to utilize the new technology.


Technology Review [via MobileMag]

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Just because they built the hardware does not mean this technology is actually useful to anything but research, of course. Software development is going to have to change dramatically to catch up with this sort of technology since standard applications, like a Half-Life 3, are going to have to be able to split itself up into 128 simultaneous processes. This really is a puzzle for programmers, and one that we are a long way from solving. Up to 4 'cores' on a home PC is useful, but much beyond that starts to become somewhat meaningless for the software being run at home these days.

Here's hoping someone will solve the software end of this before a 128 core CPU is being sold at Best Buy.