At Supercomputing 2009 in Portland, Oregon, Intel Corp. unveiled a future high performance computing (HPC) optimized version of its forthcoming processor codenamed Nehalem-EX. The chips aimed at supercomputers will feature lower amount of cores, but will sport higher clock-speed along with some tweaks to boost performance of HPC-specific cases.
Intel Xeon EX processor for HPC systems will feature six cores (down from eight of the original one) and will offer advantages on some HPC workloads. Besides, customers will benefit from greater memory bandwidth and capacity and will be able to build single computers or "nodes" with up to 256 such chips.
Intel also announced that a beta program for Intel's Ct technology will be available by the end of 2009. Intel Ct technology makes parallel programming in the C and C++ languages easier by automatically parallelizing code across multi-core and many-core processors. Intel Ct is particularly important for popularization of Intel Larrabee graphics processing unit, which will also be used in HPC environments.
The world’s largest maker of chips also revealed that the 34th edition of the Top 500 list shows that a record-breaking 402 of the world's top 500 systems have Intel processors inside, with increased adoption in computers designed for geophysics, financial calculations and scientific research. According to the list, Intel chips power 20 of the top 50 systems. Systems using Intel Xeon quad-core processors lead the list, holding 380 spots. Moreover, only months after its arrival, the Intel Xeon 5500 series processor is already significantly impacting the HPC community by powering 21 systems in the top 100.