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For years Intel Corp. has kept its so-called "tick-tock" microprocessor development strategy and implemented thinner manufacturing technology ahead of micro-architectural update. This allows the company to bring newer products to market every twelve months. However, the company will not keep this strategy with its many Intel core (MIC) micro-architecture chips for high-performance computing (HPC) industry.

The evolution of Intel MIC micro-architecture will be slower compared to the company's traditional processors for servers, according to Rajeeb Hazra, the general manager for the high performance computing group at Intel. The world's largest chipmaker will update MIC-based products once in eighteen or even twenty four months, but " each processor update could encapsulate more significant architectural changes", the HPCwire web-site quotes Mr. Hazra as saying.

Designed specifically to compete against highly-parallel graphics processing units (GPUs) from Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia Corp., Intel MIC products will not need updates every twelve months since neither of the rivals introduce brand-new HPC solutions every year. Moreover, since MIC products should not be necessarily cost-efficient and their adopters require major performance increases from generation to generation, it may not make a lot of sense in shrinking them without adding major improvements.

Nvidia's Tesla 2000-series compute card based on a chip featuring the company's Fermi architecture at present powers the world's highest-performing supercomputer. Even though so-far efficiency of those heterogeneous systems is not maximal, they still consume less energy than supercomputers powered only by x86 processors. AMD is also selling its FireStream cards to those, who require HPC acceleration. While Intel will be late with its MIC, it believes that relatively easy porting of current HPC applications to x86-supporting MIC accelerators will allow it to fight back market share from its rivals.

Intel's first MIC-series products is expected to be code-named Knights Corner chips with more than fifty  simplistic x86 cores made using 22nm fabrication process. The many-core microprocessor will be released in 2012.

Tags: Intel, MIC, 22nm, Knights Corner

Discussion

Comments currently: 9
Discussion started: 12/06/10 06:24:32 PM
Latest comment: 12/28/10 07:47:38 PM
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1. 
If its x86 then can you install Windows on it?

I don't believe you can't so why bother with x86? I am no expert but i am sure if Intel are starting from scratch and making a whole new type of chip then surely there is a better arch. than the 20 year old x86. You only need to look at the mobile market and how much better ARM and MIPS chips are than Intel's chips trying adapt x86 where its not meant to be.

Its time Intel started thinking outside the box instead of just trying to throw hundreds of x86 at the problem try coming up with something new, something revolutionary. If its good enough people will learn how to code for it.
0 0 [Posted by: loadwick  | Date: 12/06/10 06:24:32 PM]
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2. 
How is this different to Larrebee?
0 0 [Posted by: loadwick  | Date: 12/06/10 06:26:42 PM]
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3. 
It will be funny to see how MIC is a lot slower and more powerhungry than nVIDIA's Tesla and AMD's FireStream. I like seeing Intel Israel failing and the whole INTEL paying them billions for FAILING

Although, on the other hand, AMD & nVIDIA should get their act toghether and build on a common software base. Decide between OpenCL and CUDA. I'd say OpenCL but CUDA's also good. And support this common standard. Optimise it for AMD's CPUs and nVIDIA's and AMD's GPUs and introduce the same type of limitations for INTEL CPUs just like INTEL has had and still has in their compilers.
0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 12/06/10 11:08:43 PM]
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They could also utilize Microsoft's DirectCompute architecture. Its part of DirectX and it sounds promising although I haven't heard much about it lately.
0 0 [Posted by: iLLz  | Date: 12/06/10 11:36:48 PM]
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We cannot forget that OpenCL and now CUDA do work with x86, meaning that they work today with microprocessors and probably will work with this MIC but the question is will people in this MIC be tough enought to compete against AMDs and Nvidias platforms? Just time will tell! :-)
0 0 [Posted by: Luiscas87  | Date: 12/07/10 02:11:21 AM]
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...the question is will this MIC...
*sorry for the mistake* ;-)
0 0 [Posted by: Luiscas87  | Date: 12/07/10 02:13:32 AM]
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I'd like to see you failing.
I'm smelling a hater...do you have something against Intel Israel?!?!
0 0 [Posted by: eltoro200  | Date: 12/07/10 01:57:57 PM]
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Hehe ... nice language ... which body part are you smelling exactly ? I'm really hairy

Actually a friend of mine works there and he's very well paid but we laugh a lot on the projects that are dead idiotic from the start. He even gets bonuses for reaching a deadline even if the whole division already knows that the project is not feasible.
Failing at INTEL Israel is well rewarded.

Its some sort of competition inside INTEL. Their Israel division is trying to start up so many projects that they get most of INTEL's R&D money and thus ensure that other research divisions from anywhere else won't get much money as there is none left.

After Banias, the Core 2 and Core iX line , I have to admit that they do lots of good work. Their network division is there also.
But maaan ... so much wasted money goes into some other projects that never see the daylight

Too bad other divisions can't even dream of a project as they know they won't get the money.

0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 12/08/10 02:36:44 AM]
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4. 
I can see Intel trying to lure talented ARM marchitecture engineers in a big way in the near future
0 0 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 12/28/10 07:47:38 PM]
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