Tilera's 72-chip doubles heart down on multicore approach

one of the most aggressive advocates of multi-processors, today announced a new family member Tile-Gx which doubles the number of calculating machines 72.

The Tile-Gx72, the chip company's flagship news is not suitable for general purpose computing tasks, such as running smartphones or computers. Instead, it is for tasks that can be sliced ​​up into many independent operations - network equipment to manage multiple data streams or servers for handling lots of media streams.

But even if you're not going to find inside Tilera stickers on your next tablet, it is an interesting product because it is one of the main schools of thought on how to deal with the thorny problem of obtaining computers to run faster. Moore's Law has done a good job provide that the number of transistors doubles every two years, but in the real world performance is not only the amount of chip circuits. It is also the speed at which these transistors can be switched on and off, and the power-consumption limits are maintained clock rate of the processor failure. Tilera tries to circumvent the problem by using multicore processors. This is also the approach of chip design companies such as Qualcomm, Intel, Samsung, Apple, IBM, Oracle and AMD, of course, where the dual-core chips and quad-core and eight cores are common chips are increasingly common.

But Tilera has embraced parallel processing much more enthusiasm, arguing that programmers who can not handle the rigors will be left for the changes in the industry. Ultimately, the company believes, processor cores will become a cornerstone of hardware like chip transistors are today.

Parallel programming is inherently more difficult, however, to write software which is a simple series of steps. And parallel processing has its hard limits: Amdahl's law accurately describes how parallel programming is limited when even a small fraction of a calculation process can not be spread over multiple processing engines.

"Multicore versatile programming has improved dramatically" since the beginning, said Moor Insights and Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead. "Intel, AMD and Nvidia have all added a considerable amount of tools to help simplify, but it is not as easy as programming a few carrots." And there are other limitations as Tilera chips are not compatible with the instruction set other chips.

"Tilera abstracts away much of the instruction set underlying but is limited by the amount of tools and compilers. For a perfect optimization, it is more logical to code directly on the metal as in the case many games on the ARM architecture, but you do not have to "Moorhead said. So for now, at least, Tilera chips are geared for tasks that can be easily parallelized. Gx72 The new tile- is designed to take more work than its predecessor 36-core. It runs a version of Linux that can handle all 64-bit kernels, ie the allocation of specific nuclei to specific tasks or drawing on them as a resource setting common.

The chip itself has an integrated switch for managing communications between its core and link to its 23MB of shared cache and external input-output systems. Those six PCI Express slots, eight 10 Gbps Ethernet ports and four DDR3 memory controllers.

Its subsystem can classify packet processing up to 240 million packets of network data as it happens, and it can also encrypt and decrypt data using multiple network encryption protocols, Tilera said.

The company is now sampling the chip and did not disclose the price or delivery schedule at high volume.
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