World’s first microchip carrying 1,000 independent programmable processors has been designed by the scientists, who say is capable of computing upto 1.78 trillion instructions per second. The microchip is believed to be the fastest ever designed at a university. Named “KiloCore”, the energy-efficient chip contains 621 million transistors, said researchers.
“To the best of our knowledge, it is the world’s first 1,000-processor chip and it is the highest clock-rate processor ever designed in a university,” said Bevan Baas, professor at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). The team that designed the chip architecture was led by Baas.
Here are the 10 things you should know about World's first 1000-processor microchip:
1. According to researchers, multiple-processor chips have been created in the past but none exceed 300 processors. While, most of the chips were created for research purposes, few are sold commercially.
2. Each processor core is capable of running its own small programme independently of the others. This is a fundamentally more flexible approach than those Single-Instruction-Multiple-Data approaches that are utilised by processors such as graphics processing unit (GPU).
3. The idea is to break up an application into many small pieces, each of which can run in parallel on different processors, Bass said, adding, this would enable high throughput with lower energy use.
4. Each processor can shut itself down to further save energy as it is independently clocked, said Brent Bohnenstiehl, graduate student at UC Davis, who developed the principal architecture.
5. Cores operate at an average maximum clock frequency of 1.78 GigaHertz, and they transfer data directly to each other rather than using a pooled memory area that can become a bottleneck for data.
6. The chip is the most energy-efficient “many-core” processor ever reported, Baas said.
7. For example, the 1,000 processors can execute 115 billion instructions per second while dissipating only 0.7 Watts, low enough to be powered by a single AA battery.
8. The KiloCore chip executes instructions more than 100 times more efficiently than a modern laptop processor.
9. Applications already developed for the chip include wireless coding/decoding, video processing, encryption, and others involving large amounts of parallel data such as scientific data applications and data centre record processing.
10. The team has completed a compiler and automatic programme mapping tools for use in programming the chip.
(With inputs from PTI)