Intel has released a research chip with 48 cores. Called a single-chip data center, its core selling point is that it uses dramatically less energy. What I noticed is that its new architecture leverages software memory control and messaging. As you will remember from my previous post on Barrelfish and next generation Windows, this architecture is designed without hardware level memory control allowing the operating system to control the use of cores and memory alleviating the current bottlenecks on performance.
Those folks in the barrelfish project are slapping their lederhosen and clearing their throats with Ricola about this technology. “We’re very excited about Intel’s Single-chip Cloud Computer. In the Barrelfish project we are designing OS architectures for future multi-core and many-core systems. The chip’s memory system and message passing support are a great fit for us, and it’s an ideal vehicle for us to test and validate our ideas.” – Prof. Timothy Roscoe, ETH Zurich
This is exciting progress as the path toward future operating system performance increases becomes clearer.
Intel Press Release: http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/2009/20091202comp_sm.htm
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