Intel: "Knights Corner" MIC Supercomputer Chip In Great Shape

Intel's Knights Corner on Track - Company

by Anton Shilov
04/08/2012 | 11:52 AM

Intel Corp. said its code-named "Knights Corner" (KNC) multi-core chip is on track with the undisclosed Intel roadmap. The first supercomputer powered by the KNC will be, as planned, turned on in 2013.


"Knights Corner is in great shape and is exactly where it has to be according to our internal schedule. We have not disclosed any information related to production or launch date of 'Knights Corner'," said Radoslaw Walczyk, a spokesman for Intel said.

Earlier this month Diane Bryant, vice president and general manager of Intel's server product group said during a public Xeon E5 discussion that MIC was "set to go into production in about a year". Apparently, Ms. Bryant was talking about 10PFLOPS “Stampede” supercomputer - based on Intel MIC's Knights Corner & Intel Xeon E5 - at TACC scheduled for power on in early 2013.

Intel's Knights Corner accelerator has over 50 cores and delivers 1TFLOPS of double precision floating point performance, as measured by the double-precision, general matrix-matrix multiplication benchmark (DGEMM). Currently the most powerful special purpose highly-parallel accelerator is Nvidia Tesla 2090, which boasts with 665GFLOPS (0.665TFLOPS) of peak performance, which is considerably below peak performance of Intel's KNC.

When completed in early 2013, Stampede will comprise several thousand Dell "Zeus" servers with each server having two eight-core Intel Xeon E5-series "Sandy Bridge-EP" processors as well as 32GB of memory. In addition, the supercomputer will integrate Intel MIC "Knights Corner" accelerators (with 50+ cores and made using 22nm process technology) to process highly parallel workloads. Several thousands of Xeon processors will offer about 2PFLOPS of peak performance, whereas the MIC highly-parallel accelerators will provide additional 8PFLOPS of performance.

Furthermore, Stampede will offer 128 next-generation Nvidia Quadro graphics processing units (GPUs) code-named Kepler for remote visualization, 16 Dell servers with 1TB of shared memory and 2 GPUs each for large data analysis, and a high-performance Lustre file system for data-intensive computing. All components will be integrated with an InfiniBand FDR 56Gb/s network for extreme scalability.

Altogether, Stampede will have a peak performance of 10PFLOPS, 272TB of total memory, and 14PB of disk storage.

The Stampede will be one of the world's most powerful supercomputers when completed.