Tilera announces 64-core processor Page: 1
Tilera 64-core processor

Tilera announces 64-core processor

Tilera, the new kid on the block when compared to the likes of Intel and AMD, is claiming to have a processor with 64 programmable cores that, according to the company, houses ten times the performance and 30 times the power efficiency of Intel's dual-core Xeon processors.

The Tile64 is a RISC-based processor clocked between 600 MHz and 1 GHz aiming for integration in embedded applications such as routers, switches, appliances, video conferencing systems and set-top boxes. Its manufacturer claims that the CPU solves a critical problem in multi-core scaling and opens the door to hundreds or even thousands of cores using this new architecture.

Other than for example Intel's Core architecture, which is expected to soon be running into a bottleneck caused by its centralized bus architecture (which acts as communication node between all cores), Tilera's cores can exchange data with all other cores through a "mesh" architecture. Each of the 64 tiles consists of a CPU unit, a cache unit and a switch, which can send information into four directions to neighboring "tiles". Each tile has a bandwidth of 500 GB/s, with the Tile64's aggregate bandwidth topping out at 32 TB/s.

According to Tilera, performance is ten times what a dual-core Xeon offers, while performance per watt is exceeding the Xeon by 30x. The manufacturer states that each tile consumes a maximum of 300 mWatt, which translates into a maximum power consumption of 19.2 watts per Tile64 chip. Still, there is enough horsepower to decode eight parallel standard definition video streams at 2 Mb/s per stream, two high definition 720p streams at 7 Mb/s each or one 1080p video stream at 20 Mb/s.

Tilera said that the processor is available now. For a new entry into the market, Tilera priced its product with confidence: 10K-tray pricing is set at $435 for each Tile64 – which appears cheap, if it can replace ten Xeon processors. But in a real world environment, the processor is priced against a quad-core Xeon 5345 (2.33 GHz, 8 MB L2 cache), which currently sells for a 1K tray price of $455.

Tile64 layout

(Tile64 layout with 8x8 tiles)

layout

(Layout of 1 tile in detail)

View additional technical details on the processor at Tilera

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