Intel announces 22nm chip plans

Chip giant Intel unveils details of Knights Corner, designed for high performance computing.


Intel is set to launch a new 32-core processor designed with supercomputing in mind.

The company announced details of the chip at the International Supercomputing Conference in Germany this week, saying it will be based on its Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture and use its 22 nanometre manufacturing technique.

The MIC chips the first of which is codenamed Knights Corner will run alongside each other as co-processors in high performance computing (HPC) systems.

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"While the vast majority of workloads will still run best on award-winning Intel Xeon processors, Intel MIC architecture will help accelerate select highly parallel applications," Intel said in a statement.

The company also confirmed the processor will involve some of the aspects of its dumped Larrabee graphics chip, as well as other Intel projects.

"Intel's Xeon processors, and now our new Intel Many Integrated Core architecture products, will further push the boundaries of science and discovery as Intel accelerates solutions to some of humanity's most challenging problems," said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's data centre group, in a statement. "The Intel MIC architecture will extend Intel's leading HPC products and solutions that are already in nearly 82 per cent of the world's top supercomputers."

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A small number of developers have already got their hands on the new chip but the majority will have to wait until the second half of 2010 when Intel will increase its distribution.

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At the other end of the scale, Intel also confirmed releases of new products in its low-powered Atom range.

During a keynote at the Computex conference in Taipei, David Perlmutter, executive vice president and co-general manager of the Architecture Group at Intel, confirmed the upcoming releases of its Moorestown chip for mobile devices, its in-car entertainment system and its smart TV project alongside Sony, Logitech and Google.

The company claimed the new Atom platform offers more than 50 per cent reduction in power consumption when devices are idle as well as improved performance.

"Intel believes the strength of the Atom franchise can help consumers realise the true potential for a common experience to enable the compute continuum," said Perlmutter."With platforms ranging from compact and portable netbooks, to Smart TV experiences and innovative tablet designs, Intel Architecture is driving innovative products based on a unique "port of choice" software strategy."

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