Most 'welcome back' parties entail a gathering of friends, loud music, some streamers, and a few drinks. Cake is optional, though encouraged. Tilera Corporation had something else in mind when it welcomed back company co-founder Davesh Garg, who rejoins the outfit as its chief executive officer. Tilera celebrated by timing the announcement of two of its low-power, high-performance 64-bit processors, the 36-core TILE-Gx36 and the 16-core TILE-Gx16, to coincide with his return.
We know what you're thinking. With a 100-core processor, you can finally play Crysis with all the eye candy turned up and still have CPU cycles left over for Folding@home. That's probably true, but that's not what Tilera's new TILE-Gx 3000 processor family is intended for. These general purpose chips are destined for data centers where, according to Tilera, they have a distinct advantage over Intel's Sandy Bridge processors.
Tilera today announced its new TILE-GX line of processors, including the TILE-Gx100, the world's first 100-core CPU. According to Tilera, the 100-core part offers the highest performance of any processor on the planet by at least a factor of four.
"The launch of the TILE-Gx family, including the world's first 100-core microprocessor, ushers in a new era of many-core processing. We believe this next generation of high-core count, ultra high-performance chips will open completely new computing possibilities," said Omid Tahernia, Tilera's CEO.
While the 100-core part is not meant to run Crysis (so please don't ask) or any other desktop application, it does offer 10 times the performance per watt as Intel's fastest Nehalem-based server chips. Assuming Tilera can convince customers to switch from Intel and Texas Instruments, The TILE-Gx100 will likely end up in data centers powering cell phone network equipment and cloud computing ventures.
Tilera says its 100-core chip will start shipping in Q4 of this year.
Holy high core-count Batman, just imagine how many Chrome tabs you could have open with a 36-core Nehalem! But before you get too excited, this isn't some secret project Intel has been working on. The feat comes courtesy of Tilera, a small start-up from 2004 and self-proclaimed "industry leader in highly scalable multi-core embedded processor design." And with a 36-core chip, who's to argue?
This isn't even Tilera's highest cored processor, as the company introduced a 64-core CPU last year. This time around, the scaled down TilePro36 is being marketed as a midrange part suitable for devices like high-end video conferencing, according to Bob Doud, Tilera's director of marketing.
Intel and AMD needn't be worried though, as the Tilera doesn't target servers and home PCs, as the architecture would get summarily thumped by today's fastest chips. But for its targeted applications, the tiled RISC processing core puts out a bit of pep when configured in a distributed network, and the new 36-core version only sips between 10 to 16 watts.