Dell brings up the 80-core chip

During his keynote at a supercomputing conference, Michael Dell keeps 80-core processor in sight.

A Dell slide shown Tuesday was a reminder that a future 80-core processor is still in sight.

Flash back two years to the Intel Developer Forum when CEO Paul Otellini pledged to deliver an 80-core processor in five years.

Otellini said at the time that the chips will be capable of exchanging data at a terabyte a second and that the company hopes to have these chips ready for commercial production within a five-year window.

Michael Dell referred to a slide showing an 80-core chip Tuesday at SC08, a conference in Austin, Texas, focused on high-performance computing.

The trend of packing more compute power into small supercomputing enclosures "is really driven by what's going on in microprocessors. The x86 revolution continues. You see more and more cores. Increased performance. But also without more power required," he said, speaking during the keynote.

Dell slide shown Tuesday at SC08
Dell slide shown Tuesday at SC08 Dell Computer

In various venues, Intel has spelled out its intention to bring out many-core processors including its upcoming Larrabee graphics chip and future server processors that may reach 32 cores. Currently, Intel's Dunnington processor gets the prize (at Intel) for the most cores: six. Sun Microsystem's "Rock" processor will have 16 cores.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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