Meet Intel’s Crazy 50-Core ‘Knights Corner’, World’s First 1 TFLOPS Processor | TIME

Posted on: November 17, 2011

Intel may be about to change all that, with a processor built on an architecture it’s dubbed “Many Integrated Core” or MIC.

But first let’s talk FLOPS, or floating point operations per second, which signify a popular measure of supercomputer’s processing prowess. We know from the latest benchmarks that the world’s fastest computer, Fujtisu Co.’s K supercomputer, can do 10.51 petaflops, which amounts to over 10 quadrillion calculations per second.

In scientific notation, we’d call 1 petaflop equivalent to 1 x 10 to the 15th power floating point operations per second. So over 10 of those add up to what the K supercomputer can do. But it takes the K supercomputer 864 computer racks and 88,128 parallel-linked, eight-core CPUs to pull that off. That’s a whole lot of CPUs.

Enter Intel’s “Knights Corner,” a commercial co-processor based on the company’s MIC architecture and capable of 1 TFLOPS (teraflops) double precision performance. Granted, that’s running software that may have been optimized for Intel microprocessors, notes the company, but okay, 1 teraflops, equivalent to 1 x 10 to the power of 12, or 1 trillion calculations per second.

By comparison, a single Intel i7 processor with six cores can do about 158 GFLOPS or 158 billion calculations per second. Knights Corner—sounds like a chess move, right?—is thus over six times faster than some of the fastest consumer-grade processors available right now.

via Meet Intel’s Crazy 50-Core ‘Knights Corner’, World’s First 1 TFLOPS Processor | TIME


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