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While there might be a 1000-core processor in the wild, we won't see it in consumer or prosumer machines in that form, ever - at least not until the likes of Intel or AMD can hit 1000 processors on a single chip. Well, Intel is getting closer with its new Xeon Phi 7290 processor, which has 72 CPU cores.
Intel's new Xeon Phi 7290 is the fastest processor the company has released, and it's also their most expensive. The new Xeon Phi 7290 has 72 processing cores at 1.5GHz each, with Intel sending them out in September, with a huge price tag of $6294. Intel's next-gen Xeon Phi 7290 doesn't rely on the PCIe bus, allowing it to handle a much higher wider variety of workloads, and configurations that aren't supported by usual accelerators.
Intel has included 16GB of HBM with 490GB/sec of memory bandwidth for applications that are memory bound, while the dual-port Intel Omni-Path Fabric makes an appearance, reducing the cost of Intel's new Xeon Phi 7290, in terms of cost, power consumption and space required. The new Xeon Phi 7290 is one of four new processors, with the new chips packaged very similar to video cards, functioning as primary processors, or co-processors - depending on the use.
This isn't something I thought I'd be writing in 2016, but a team at the University of California, Davis, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have hit a world's first. The team have designed the first "KiloCore" processor, which has 1000 independent programmable processors, with a maximum computation rate of 1.78 trillion instructions per second.
The new 1000-core processor has 621 million transistors and was shown off during the recent 2016 Symposium on VLSI Technology and Circuits in Honolulu on June 16. Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Bevan Baas, who led the team that designed KiloCore, said: "To the best of our knowledge, it is the world's first 1,000-processor chip and it is the highest clock-rate processor ever designed in a university".
Up until now, there has been no other chips made with over 300 processors, with most of them being made for research purposes and only a handful are sold commercially. The new 1000-processor KiloCore was fabricated by IBM on their 32nm CMOS technology, so we're not even talking anything radically advanced like the 14nm and 10nm nodes that are being used and played with now.
It looks like Samsung is continuing to out-innovate everyone else, announcing that Samsung and even TSMC are producing chips using the new FoWLP yield technology. What the hell is FoWLP yield technology you ask?
FoWLP, or Fan-Out Wafter Level Packaging platform, allows smartphone OEMs to reduce the thickness of their devices by a great degree, which has multiple benefits. FoWLP also doesn't need a PCB, and also increases the efficiency of chips by 30%, as well as reducing the thickness of smartphones by at least 0.3mm.
Apple is reportedly using TSMC as its main supplier of 10nm FinFET processors, and Samsung wants a cut of that business - which is where FoWLP comes into play. Samsung might end up winking just right at Apple, especially if TSMC can't keep up with Apple's high demand. With smartphones hitting the whole no bezel, super-thin, more battery wishlist - Samsung's impressive new FoWLP technology is going to come in handy big time over the coming years.
We've been hearing so much about the Zen architecture from AMD, but this new information is rather exciting. Our friends at Fudzilla have exclusive information on an upcoming Zen CPU with 32 cores, and 64 threads, with a huge 64MB of L3 cache.
The chip has a codename of Naples, powered by the Zen architecture, with each CPU core featuring its own dedicated 512KB cache. A cluster of Zen cores share 8MB of L3 cache, pumping the total L3 shared cache of 64MB. There will be a 16-core variant as well, with both of the CPUs being made on the 14nm FinFET process. Naples has 8 independent memory channels, with up to 128 PCIe 3.0 lanes. This makes AMD ready for the super-fast NVMO memory controllers and drives, with Naples set to support 32 SATA and NVMe drives.
Naples also has support for a huge 16 x 10GbE network, with the controller integrated, with Naples being slotted into a SP3 LGA server socket. We should expect the server-bound Zen products to have 35W to 180W TDPs, with dual, quad, 16, and 32-core server variants of Zen, with a release window of late 2016, or sometime in 2017.
Computex 2016 - Intel exec Navin Shenoy confirmed that Intel's 14nm 7th-gen Kaby Lake Core CPU will enter production later this quarter, with an eventual release in 2016.
"I'm excited to tell you that two new products will be coming from Intel later this year: Apollo Lake for the value and entry-level PC, 2-in-1 and tablet, and the 7th Generation Core, formally codenamed Kaby Lake, will be coming later this year. We have over 400 designs coming to market on the Seventh Gen Core, and you can expect lots of innovations from our OEM partners bringing this product to market," said Intel's General Manager of Intel's Client Computing Group Navin Shenoy said during Intel's Computex 2016 keynote.
With the seventh-generation Kaby Lake chip series, Intel has broken its tick-tock cadence for the first time in the last decade, opting instead for the new "process, architecture, optimization" model. Kaby Lake--and the new low-power, entry-level Apollo Lake--will use the same 14nm process node as Skylake and Broadwell-E, but will feature significant microarchitecture tweaks and optimizations. Intel also announced Kaby Lake will natively support USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3, with higher-end chips maxing out at 95W TDP.
Computex 2016 - After revealing the $199 VR-ready Radeon RX 480 and the Summit Ridge Zen silicon at Computex, AMD revealed its latest 7th-generation Bristol Ridge and Stony Ridge APUs with massive improvements in CPU and GPU performance and power efficiency.
AMD's new 7th-generation APU lineup is a medley of processors separated in performance tiers across two product families: Bristol Ridge for higher-end gaming and performance, and Stony Ridge for everyday and entry-level use. The APUs range from the lower-end 2.8GHz A6-9210 to the performance-grade 3.7GHz 7th-gen FX 9830P. AMD boasts that Bristol Ridge's premiere FX chips are 56% faster than previous gens, with the entry-level A6 series 51% faster than past generations. The Bristol Ridge APUs are also beating Intel's mobile chips: According to AMD, the new FX-9800P is 50% faster than Intel's i7 6500U processor.
The lineup puts emphasis power efficiency and performance, which is exactly what users need in laptops. AMD's new 7th generation APUs leverage four Excavator cores and eight Radeon Graphics Core Next Cores, with integrated GPUs ranging from Radeon R2 to Radeon R7 graphics. The A10, A12, and FX series support performance gaming features like FreeSync and pairing up with discrete desktop video cards with Dual Graphics, whereas EyeFinity and Framerate Target Control are reserved for the top two models. The FX series also sports DirectX 12 and Vulkan with multi-adapter support.
Computex 2016 - AMD's Computex press conference saw Team Read announce its new roadmap built on Polaris FinFET technology, culminating in the new $199 VR-ready Radeon RX 480, the 7th generation APU line, and a beefy update on Zen.
It's been a bit since AMD's last Zen update, but the next-gen Summit Ridge processor was revealed on stage by Dr. Lisa Su, along with a host of new specifications and details on Zen's different configurations. "We are in the early stages, but the product looks really really good. Zen is delivering 40% more IPC than our previous generations," said AMD President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su. "This product is 8 cores, 16 threads, it is FinFET technology, and it is integrated as part of our new AM4 desktop platform. Zen is a new high-performance CPU that scales across multiple market segments, and we're working very hard on our server version of Zen, which is also going very well."
Dr. Su also discussed Zen's integrated future across multiple platforms, including high-performance APUs and embedded markets: "As we bring the high-performance CPU to life, we're also going to integrate Zen with our high-performance graphics in our next-generation APUs. So after Bristol Ridge, you will see integrated APUs with Zen and our GPU architectures. And you'll also see Zen across a number of embedded markets. The power of Zen's grounds-up design allows us to scale it across performance segments as well as low-power markets."
Computex 2016 - Intel has announced its new 10-core 3GHz i7 6950X desktop CPU at its press conference in Taipei, but the chip comes with a staggering price tag.
If you've been looking forward to Intel's celebrated Broadwell-E lineup with its insane 10-core Core i7 6950X CPU, then we have kind of a buzzkill: the processor will cost $1,732. For that premium price, you'll get one of the "most powerful chips" has ever created. With 20 threads, the Core i7 6950X Extreme Edition is fully optimized for simultaneous compute-intensive mega-tasking like 4K gaming while rendering video in the background, and Intel boasts that the i7 6950X renders 3D twice as fast as the Intel Core i7 6700K.
As we expected, Intel also announced three more CPUs in the Broadwell-E Extreme Edition lineup: the 8-core Intel Core i7 6900K ($1,089), the 6-core Core i7 6850K ($617) and Core i7-6800K ($434). Every CPU in the Extreme Edition lineup is unlocked for easy user overclocking, and the processors are all based on Intel's new 14nm Broadwell-E silicon. Check below for full specs on each CPU as well as key features.
AMD is ramping up for quite a large Computex 2016, with the big reveal of the next-gen Polaris-based video cards, and then the exciting new Zen architecture on the CPU side of things. Well, it looks like the new Zen APUs will be exciting, with a purported 50% increase in performance than the previous Kaveri-based APUs.
AMD's new processors will arrive on the AM4 socket, with the flagship SKU offering 12 compute cores, with 4 of them Compute-based, while the rest will reside on the GPU side. The flagship APU will have 4 x CPU cores at 3.7GHz, with Turbo boosting it to 4.2GHz, with 2MB of L2 cache. On the GPU side, we'll have 8 x GCN 3.0-based compute units, with 512 streaming processors and a TDP of 65W. According to the latest leaks, AMD will have a low-power version that consumes 35W with a default clock of 2.9GHz and Turbo boost of up to 3.8GHz.
The performance tier SKU will be kicked down to 10 compute cores, with 4 dedicated to the compute side, and 6 to the graphics side. These chips will arrive in two different variants, with the highest APU hitting 3.5GHz and 3.8GHz on boost, while the 35W version will have a clock speed of 2.8GHz and boost of 3.5GHz. The budget ones will have 6 compute cores, at up to 3.5GHz and 3.8GHz on turbo, with 1MB of L2 cache. The graphics side has 4 compute units, and 256 GCN 3.0-based stream processors.
What about the performance? the new reports have gaming performance being 20% higher than the Carrizo Mobility chip, and over 50% over the Kaveri-based chips. It looks like Bristol Ridge is going to be mighty powerful, but where will it sit against an Intel CPU?
AMD will reportedly keep its next-gen Zen CPUs at the higher-end of the scale when they launch later this year, with 6- and 8-core variants being the status quo.
The dual- and quad-core variants of Zen won't launch at first, but AMD is expected to launch Bristol Ridge-based dual- and quad-core processors right away. AMD will reportedly be using 8-core dies in the fabrication process of Zen-based processors because it's the best way to get the most out of the production of its Summit Ridge processors.
This means AMD can not only provide a very powerful processor, but it'll cost the company less to only make a higher-end version at first, rather than multiple SKUs. This all falls onto the shoulders of the yields, which if they're not good - we might see dual- and quad-core versions of Zen quicker than normal. If the yields are good, AMD could finally find itself in a better position to fight Intel's unstoppable CPU dominance.