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Indo-American Tech Genius Makes World’s First 100 Core Chip

BOSTON – You might have seen chips with eight, sixteen and even 32 cores. But Anant Agarwal, an MIT genius is manufacturing the world’s first chip with 100 cores in his commercial venture Tilera.

Anant is currently the Director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). Tilera, the many-core chip is a product of his focus on making efficient future servers with power saving and high performance chips.

The new chip is made by assembling multiple cores into a single one. Currently, the high end chips from manufacturers have a maximum of 16 cores whereas Tilera offers chips with 100 cores which are low in power consumption and high in performance and memory support. The traditional “connecting bus” is replaced by a “switch” in new processor. According to Anant, “every processor has a switch and they all talk to each other like in a peer to peer network.”

Tilera’s performance claims were validated by Facebook engineers in Memcached, a high-performance database memory system for web applications. They compared Tilera’s second generation 64-core processor to Intel’s Xeon and AMD’s Opteron. According to the engineers, a tuned version of Memcached on the 64-core Tilera yielded at least 67 percent higher throughputs than low-power x86 servers.

Currently Tilera manufactures chips with 16, 32 to 64 cores and it plans on shipping the 100 core chips later this year. Anant targets network and videoconference equipment makers with Tilera.

Tilera’s future plans code named “Stratton” focus on improving memory, interface, I/O and instruction set. It will produce chips with cores ranging from 4 to 200 by 2013. Anant also leads a new MIT project code-named Angstrom, aimed at building exascale supercomputers.

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