Intel CTO Justin Rattner announces a prototype of SCC – a 48-core chip!


Justin Rattner

In a Tuesday announcement, Intel’s Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner said that Intel researchers have built what is being touted as the “single-chip cloud computer” (SCC) – it is a 48-core microprocessor that boasts power consumption equivalent to that consumed by the currently-available desktop processors.

Talking about the experimental chip that can offer almost 20 times more computing power than six or eight-core processors, Rattner said: “This is a high core count processor that focuses on efficient energy consumption. It also maintains the compatibility and familiarity that people have with Intel architecture.”

Noting that the fully programmable 48 processing cores is the maximum number of cores that Intel has ever had on one silicon chip, Rattner added that the prototype SCC comprises some features of the company’s future-generation GPU microarchitecture, code named Larrabee.

Intel claims that the experimental 48-core processor “rethinks” a number of design approaches used in the present-day PCs, laptops, and servers, with one of the chief “rethinking” aspects being the deployment of software for managing page-level memory coherency.

Rattner further said that the SCC can be described as the second generation of Polaris - a multi-core computer chip introduced by Intel two years back at the International Solid State Circuit Conference (ISSCC) – and added that with the 48-core chip a futuristic cloud data center “will be an order of magnitude more energy efficient than what exists today.”

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