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Knights Corner co-processor 'twice as fast as previous generation'

Intel flaunts ‘trillion calculations per second’ chip

Intel has developed a single accelerator chip capable of processing speeds of one trillion calculations per second.

The Teraflops chip, which features 50 cores, is called Knights Corner, and is a co-processor that takes on some of the more complicated processes of the CPU.

Intel claims the accelerator will be able to transfer data at up to 32 gigabytes per second, twice the speed of the previous generation of chips.

The device is similar in scale to that already in computers in fields such as weather forecasting, radiology and astrophysics.

Speaking at supercomputing conference in Seattle, Intel exec Rajeeb Hazra said that unlike traditional accelerators, Knights Corner is fully accessible, and visible to applications as if it was a computer running its own Linux-based operating system independent of the host OS.

He claimed this was the first demonstration of a single processing chip capable of achieving such as performance level.

Hazra also said that scientists will be able to use both CPU and co-processor performance simultaneously with existing x86 applications, saving time, cost and resources, instead of having to re-write the language to their own ends.

Intel first demonstrated a teraflop supercomputer in 1997, and the firm plans to reach exascale-level performance, 100 times faster performance than currently available, by 2018.

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