Ian King and Ari Levy reporting on a new chip from Tilera that puts 100 cores on one small chip:
Simply increasing the speed at which a processor handles instructions from software has its limits. That approach generates a lot of heat and requires expensive cooling systems. “Turning up the clock frequency has given us a great couple of decades, but it’s run out of juice,” says Tahernia, who joined the San Jose company in 2007 after a career at Motorola and Xilinx (XLNX). “For the first time, the semi industry is in the way of progress.”
Tilera is creating grids of relatively simple processors on a piece of silicon. They can handle huge numbers of Web requests simultaneously without needing to run so fast that they overheat. The company is targeting the cloud computing market, where the ability to cram thousands of processors has become as important as the high-level data crunching and calculations needed to run, say, an Oracle (ORCL) database.