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View Full Version : Intel shows off 80-core processor



eidetiken
02-11-2007, 04:33 PM
Interesting

http://news.com.com/2100-1006_3-6158181.html?part=rss&tag=2547-1_3-0-5&subj=news

Chilton
02-11-2007, 06:32 PM
We'll support it when it ships.

-Chilton

avkills
02-11-2007, 06:53 PM
Heh heh, I like how the author said that we have along way to go before we can use that kind of multi-processing. Obviously he has never hit the render button on any 3D software packages. :lol:

-mark

toby
02-11-2007, 07:55 PM
Can you imagine how hard MS will have to work to get Word bloated-slow on one of those?

avkills
02-11-2007, 07:56 PM
Well if anyone can do it; it's Microsoft. ;)

-mark

Matt
02-11-2007, 08:16 PM
Love to see how fast radiosity would be with that!

toby
02-11-2007, 10:20 PM
You mean the mega-bounce Monte Carlo generated by light bouncing back out of an sss solution mixed with light that didn't go sub-surface but was instead reflected blurry? I think it's already finished...

Captain Obvious
02-12-2007, 02:10 AM
We'll support it when it ships.

-Chilton
Promise? :)

doimus
02-12-2007, 03:09 AM
At 3.16GHz and with 0.95 volts applied to the processor, it can hit 1 teraflop of performance while consuming 62 watts of power.

I actually felt motion-sick when I read this... like travelling at warp speed through universe, using a chocolate chip cookie as fuel-source. :D

Red_Oddity
02-12-2007, 03:55 AM
This design isn't meant for sale...It's a test to see what different directions in processor design can do...
Too bad really...

Chilton
02-12-2007, 05:45 AM
Promise? :)

Yes, I do, but it has to run MacOS X.

And as soon as they send me one to test on, I'll be happy to report our progress.

-Chilton

John the Geek
02-12-2007, 06:35 AM
This design isn't meant for sale...It's a test to see what different directions in processor design can do...
Too bad really...

Why is that too bad? I'm sure the current dual and quad core chips began similarly in a lab years ago. They can't just sit around enjoying their current success or they will get passed up like before Mr. O was their new CEO. An innovating CEO is a very welcomed change for Intel. I like what I see for the future.

Apple will adopt it first, since they usually can change at a moment's notice and they seem to be buddy with Intel at the moment. Linux will quickly follow suit. Microsoft will need 7 years and a complete re-write to butcher this sort of tech, and then it won't run right or they will likely cripple most of it's core features.

The mass of general computer users (like my mother-in-law) will not understand this and will not like it. They will want to use their 20-year-old BIOS and their old PC-133 RAM with this new processor and they will whine when they have to buy a whole new computer with EFI just to use this sort of processor. Because, in their eyes, Windows Vista will be all they need and they fear change.

That's my prediction.

Captain Obvious
02-12-2007, 08:14 AM
Why is that too bad? I'm sure the current dual and quad core chips began similarly in a lab years ago. They can't just sit around enjoying their current success or they will get passed up like before Mr. O was their new CEO. An innovating CEO is a very welcomed change for Intel. I like what I see for the future.

Apple will adopt it first, since they usually can change at a moment's notice and they seem to be buddy with Intel at the moment. Linux will quickly follow suit. Microsoft will need 7 years and a complete re-write to butcher this sort of tech, and then it won't run right or they will likely cripple most of it's core features.

The mass of general computer users (like my mother-in-law) will not understand this and will not like it. They will want to use their 20-year-old BIOS and their old PC-133 RAM with this new processor and they will whine when they have to buy a whole new computer with EFI just to use this sort of processor. Because, in their eyes, Windows Vista will be all they need and they fear change.

That's my prediction.
wtf? :confused:

John the Geek
02-12-2007, 08:41 AM
wtf? :confused:

My first paragraph was an attempt to understand why this news was "too bad" based on Red_Oddity's post.

My second paragraph was a somewhat tongue-in-cheek prediction based on the Apple-intel partnership on how this technology might eventually become adopted. Apple will be quick to move, Linux will adopt it as soon as information can propagate to some of it's developers, and Microsoft will likely, by past observation, adopt it very slowly and not fully to specification.

My third paragraph was a very broad generalization of how the average computer user has traditionally reacted when discovering that a new technology causes them to toss out all of their current computer because it's not interoperable with the newer technology. These are the people who will continue to use the current technology until they absolutely have to upgrade. Like the people I know still using Windows 98 because XP doesn't run well on 64MB of RAM.

Does that clear things up?

Captain Obvious
02-12-2007, 08:55 AM
Not really, no.

John the Geek
02-12-2007, 09:04 AM
Not really, no.

Sorry to hear. Try not to lose any sleep over it.

Captain Obvious
02-12-2007, 09:11 AM
So, Apple are quick, huh? Well, that would explain why they have so many quad-cores on offer, right? :)

John the Geek
02-12-2007, 09:31 AM
So, Apple are quick, huh? Well, that would explain why they have so many quad-cores on offer, right? :)

They are clearly still milking the Core 2 Duo. So people like me won't feel so obsolete so fast. It's a kinder, gentler, consumer-friendly Apple, Inc.

...or they just dropped the ball on that.

Captain Obvious
02-12-2007, 11:07 AM
...or they just dropped the ball on that.
Yeah, that's my bet.

eblu
02-12-2007, 11:56 AM
its just a test for intel to figure out how their architecture scales. THIS test went pretty good so they leaked the test.
the maccentral article on same, speaks about slowing performance once they scaled past 32 procs. so this test taught them what to focus on for the Next generation of processors.

if you go back in time the earlier generations of processors didn't scale very well at all in MP setups. they must have hooked them up like this, to see what breaks.

toby
02-12-2007, 11:03 PM
Why is that too bad? I'm sure the current dual and quad core chips began similarly in a lab years ago. They can't just sit around enjoying their current success or they will get passed up like before Mr. O was their new CEO. An innovating CEO is a very welcomed change for Intel. I like what I see for the future.I believe he was saying it's "too bad" we can't get it NOW!


Microsoft will need 7 years and a complete re-write to butcher this sort of tech,

ROFL!

Apparently Apple already built an 8 core, and put it on the shelf. Maybe they want to sell a few more of their 4-cores before releasing it, or spread out the releases a little, I heard that they like to release stuff in late Feb.

Largemedium
02-13-2007, 05:33 AM
We'll support it when it ships.

-Chilton

Yeah, before or after you release the UB version?

dsol
02-13-2007, 06:18 AM
As has been said already, this chip is mainly a proof of concept device. It has 80 extremely simple processing units each partnered with a 5 port switch - the processing units themselves don't do much more than FMAC and are IIRC single precision only.

Intel aren't even the first to attempt something like this - there's another company, whose name I can't remember off the top of my head (ClearSpeed I think), who are already shipping a massively multicore FPU. It's mounted on a PCI card and designed to work as a co-processor (which is realistically the only way to use the current design of the intel chip too).

In more exciting news, more info about the Power6 was released today:

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070212-8823.html

I can understand the intel switch for Apple's low/mid end - but why did they have to kill off PPC in their high-end lineup so soon? Pesky politics :(

Red_Oddity
02-13-2007, 06:31 AM
No, Apple them selves (or IBM, can't remember) said they had reached the max of what was possible to get out of the PPC chip design (or atleast out of the POWER chip design used for Apple computers).

John the Geek
02-13-2007, 06:44 AM
No, Apple them selves (or IBM, can't remember) said they had reached the max of what was possible to get out of the PPC chip design (or atleast out of the POWER chip design used for Apple computers).

Since that time the PPC has received a LOT of attention in getting it to run with less power and cooler. So it could still work.

However, it's all political. Apple was sick of being the bottom customer. Motorola shipped a ton of G5s to Microsoft for the XBox 360 and they were faster than any Apple chips. They also have Motorola chips in the Wii and the PS3. Apple was just not a priority for them and they could never keep up supply anyway. Apple went with Intel because Intel looked like a better vendor.

Captain Obvious
02-13-2007, 07:13 AM
Motorola shipped a ton of G5s to Microsoft for the XBox 360 and they were faster than any Apple chips. They also have Motorola chips in the Wii and the PS3. Apple was just not a priority for them and they could never keep up supply anyway. Apple went with Intel because Intel looked like a better vendor.
*Motorola never made any G5s.
*Motorola doesn't make CPUs any more; it's done by their subsidiary Freescale.
*All the three "next-gen" consoles run IBM chips; none of them use the G5.
*You're right about the last two parts.

eblu
02-13-2007, 07:30 AM
*Motorola never made any G5s.
*Motorola doesn't make CPUs any more; it's done by their subsidiary Freescale.
*All the three "next-gen" consoles run IBM chips; none of them use the G5.
*You're right about the last two parts.

hah! your turn Cap!
the next gen consoles run power5 variants, and Cell processor variants. the power5 variant shares enough in common with the g5, that IBM has in the past referred to it AS a g5. Technically it is Only a closely related design, but the confusion over whether it IS a g5 or not, goes all the way to the source. and lets not forget that MS was one of the biggest corporate buyers of the apple powermac g5, BECAUSE it was the only shipping computer at the time that could compile anything for the upcoming Xbox console... the Xbox processor and the g5 are VERY closely related.

John the Geek
02-13-2007, 08:04 AM
*Motorola doesn't make CPUs any more; it's done by their subsidiary Freescale.

Details details... it's still Motorola.:p

And eblu's right, Microsoft shipped a lot of G5's running an NT kernel as XBox SDKs. If it's not a true G5, it's close enough for a photo finish.

Captain Obvious
02-13-2007, 08:41 AM
The CPU in the Xbox 2 is not a G5. It may have certain design elements in common with it, but don't think, even for a second, that the 3-core 3GHz or whatever Xenon CPU is as fast or capable as three equally clocked G5 cores.

dsol
02-13-2007, 09:11 AM
The CPU in the Xbox 2 is not a G5. It may have certain design elements in common with it, but don't think, even for a second, that the 3-core 3GHz or whatever Xenon CPU is as fast or capable as three equally clocked G5 cores.

Indeed - for a start it's an in-order design with no hardware support for instruction rescheduling (or indeed a pipeline). This makes it very simple and fast, but difficult to write fast code for as all the scheduling has to be handled by the compiler and/or the programmer.

The CPU core in Cell and the 3x CPU cores in Xenon are probably near identical, the Wii uses a G3 variant with a slightly modified instruction set (and no Altivec either AFAIK). For general purpose code that hasn't undergone large amounts of low-level optimisation (like running a web browser) , the Wii's probably as fast as the PS3 or X360.

The G5, Power5 and Power6 are very different beasts. Much faster, clock for clock, but much more complex and therefore expensive.

dsol
02-13-2007, 09:16 AM
Of course, the big problem IBM always had when comparing x86 against POWER (and PowerPC) is that although their hardware is usually much more powerful on paper, Intel has superior compiler technology. The speed increase this gives significantly reduces the advantage of PPC in real world tests - particularly for the kind of apps that Apple cares about.

eblu
02-13-2007, 09:34 AM
ahhh, geek talk. me full now.

avkills
02-13-2007, 11:40 AM
I like the idea of a quad core 5Ghz Power6 based Mac. :D

-mark

zabu
02-13-2007, 11:47 AM
…independent tasks on indepentent processors (cores…)!!!


zabu
02-13-2007, 11:48 AM
…fprime would be like a new sort of OpenGL…

dsol
02-13-2007, 01:38 PM
I like the idea of a quad core 5Ghz Power6 based Mac. :D

-mark

Given that it's been - what? - six months since Apple introduced the Xeon-based Mac Pro (and crucially - stopped selling G5 powermacs) and none of the major applications I use (apart from FCP) have been ported yet... So do I bud... So do I.

One more PPC revision for the high end would have been a very good, pragmatic idea. A Quad 3GHz G5 would have benefitted me far more in my business than the release of the mac pro. Or even if they'd kept making and selling G5 quads during the lifetime of the 1st gen Mac Pro. But it's as much about politics as anything else, just like the absence of AMD from their product line.

The PA Semi dual core 64-bit G5-equivalent would have made a **** of a laptop chip too - it crushes the Core cpus on power efficiency AFAIK. But then you couldn't run Windows on it and suck up all the home PC user fallout from Vista ;)