Intel revealed the first details of its terascale research silicon program, including the development of the world’s first programmable processor said to deliver 1 trillion floating point operations per second (Tflops/s). Intel also tipped an SRAM and a silicon laser chip, as part of its ongoing research into tera-scale technology. One of the first prototypes chips in Intel’s program is the Tflops/s processor. Containing 80 simple cores and operating at 3.1 GHz, the goal of this experimental chip is to test interconnect strategies for moving terabytes of data from core to core and between cores and memory. This chip’s design consists of 80 tiles laid out in an 8- by 10-block array. Each tile includes a small core with a simple instruction set for processing floating-point data, but is not Intel x86-based processor compatible. The second major part is a 20-Mbyte SRAM memory chip that is stacked on and bonded to the processor die. Stacking the die makes possible thousands of interconnects and provides more than a terabyte-per-second of bandwidth between memory and the cores.


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