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Intel preps many-core 'Knights Corner' processor

June 01, 2010 // Peter Clarke, EETimes.com

Intel preps many-core 'Knights Corner' processor

Intel Corp. has said it plans to offer many-core processors targeting applications in high performance computing. The first product, codenamed "Knights Corner," will be implemented on Intel's 22-nm manufacturing process and integrate more than 50 processors, the company said.


Intel is classifying these many-core x86 processors as being examples
the Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture. Intel said that the
majority of computing workloads would run best on Intel's Xeon
processors, but that the MIC architecture would help accelerate
selected highly parallel applications.
Knights Corner targets high-performance computing segments such as
exploration, scientific research and financial or climate simulation,
Intel said.

Intel did not indicate when it would deliver the Knights Corner
processor or how many cores it would have, but said that design and
development kits codenamed "Knights Ferry" are being shipped to select
developers. Beginning in the second half of 2010, Intel said it plans
to deliver a range of developer tools for the MIC architecture.

Intel pointed out that it plans to make software tools and
optimization techniques common between the Intel Xeon and MIC processor
ranges where they will support diverse programming models. The MIC
architecture is derived from several Intel projects, including
"Larrabee" and such Intel Labs research projects as the 48-cored
Single-chip Cloud Computer.

"The CERN Openlab team was able to migrate a complex C++ parallel
benchmark to the Intel MIC software development platform in just a few
days," said Sverre Jarp, CTO of CERN Openlab, in a statement issued by
Intel. "The familiar hardware programming model allowed us to get the
software running much faster than expected."

"Intel's Xeon processors, and now our new Intel Many Integrated Core
architecture products, will further push the boundaries of science and
discovery as Intel accelerates solutions to some of humanity's most
challenging problems," said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general
manager of Intel's Data Center Group, in the same statement. "The Intel
MIC architecture will extend Intel's leading HPC products and solutions
that are already in nearly 82 percent of the world's top
supercomputers."

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