PodTech News: Intel Unveils Research Program to Develop Chips that Process Multiple Threads

March 6th, 2006 |
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PodTech News’ Jason Lopez and John Furrier were on hand for Intel’s private briefing to jounalists and analysts regarding their technical research roadmap. Intel is creating an open and transparent environment in disclosing their research plans around the future of computing. This is part of a comprehensive week of technical discussions at their famous Intel Developer Forum – IDF event in San Francisco. PodTech will have podcast stories from Intel’s top executives and top research gurus.

Jason Lopez files the following story for PodTech News.

Intel Unveils Research Program to Develop Chips that Process Multiple Threads

By Jason Lopez

SAN FRANCISCO March 6, 2006 (PodTech News) – Intel announced a new research program aimed at producing chips that process far more information than current microprocessors. The company envisions its Tera-Scale Computing Research Program to develop chips with multiple cores that can handle parallel programming, in which the data of a number of software programs can be processed at once.

“Multi-core is a way of getting more performance while using less energy,” said Intel CTO Justin Rattner, who spoke before analysts and journalists at an Intel Developers Forum pre-briefing. “[It gives] us the ability to get back on the traditional performance growth line that we began to shift away from given the difficulty of delivering more instructional parallelism as well as the difficulty of increasing the clock frequency of the processor.”

Rattner says the move to parallel computing on multi-core chips will not be an easy task. “The traditional technique that’s been with us since the 60s employ lock memory,” Rattner added. Lock memory is designed to prevent systems from confusing processed data “You have a situation when some of the threads may try to access a common location memory, and we might get an incorrect result.”

Intel says its Tera-Scale researchers would develop chips that would unleash a multi-core chip’s capability to manage parallel threads of data without errors.

The company, which has found itself in a more competitive race with rival Advanced Micro Devices, says it intends to move its products from research to the market place more quickly. Intel has dominated the wireless chipset market with its Centrino technology used in laptop personal computers.

Decreasing power consumption has also been a focus of the firm’s product development. It was one reason Apple moved to Intel microprocessors. “We’re fanatical about energy efficiency and general purpose architectures,” Rattner said.

Justin Rattner’s blog

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