Researchers at Princeton University have created an open-source 25-core processor that can be scaled in an array to create "a single system containing millions of cores."
Princeton's new computer chip is called Piton, and it's a many-core open-source research processor aimed at revolutionizing data-center and enterprise-grade cloud-based solutions that power the internet--from email to Facebook and Twitter--with a cheap yet extremely efficient new scalable CPU architecture. The Princeton Piton Processor is a 25-core customized CPU designed by Professor David Wentzlaff and his team, featuring 25 modified OpenSPARC T1 cores that operate at a 1GHz per-core clock frequency. Piton is also outfitted with 460 million transistors, and was taped-out in IBM's 32m SOI process. Piton's main advantage is that it's scalable, meaning an array of some thousand Piton chips could be combined in an array to "enable thousands of cores on a single chip."
"The Princeton researchers designed their chip specifically for massive computing systems. Piton could substantially increase processing speed while slashing energy usage. The chip architecture is scalable - designs can be built that go from a dozen to several thousand cores, which are the independent processors that carry out the instructions in a computer program. Also, the architecture enables thousands of chips to be connected into a single system containing millions of cores," reads a Princeton report.
You've got to hand it to AMD, they have been having a great past 12 months or so, riding the success of their new Polaris architecture, and the tease of Zen has investors pleased. So much so, that AMD stock has increased by a massive 330% in the last year, rising another 8% today on the back of the positive news of Zen from IDF 2016.
AMD has had a few years of financial grief, but it looks like the company is getting past this, returning to profitability in Q2 and should hopefully continue that with the sales of the Radeon RX 480, RX 470 and RX 460 throughout the rest of 2016, and into 2017. But the last week has been all about Zen, AMD's next-gen CPU architecture, which has been impressing us for quite a while now. AMD's new Zen architecture looks to have the company on an even playing field with Intel once again, who has had a monopoly on the market for what feels like forever.
Zen won't see the light of day for consumers and gamers until early 2017, but it will be delivering a 40% improvement of IPC (Instructions Per Clock), which is beyond impressive for something that has probably only reached testing phases now. AMD will continue to improve its Zen craft, with next-gen motherboards also featuring new connectivity like M.2 SSD support, USB Type-C and support for the likes of DDR4 RAM, and more.
Intel might want to be worried about what AMD is cooking with its upcoming Zen architecture, with AMD unveiling a bunch of details on the next-gen architecture being made on the 14nm process.
Zen has been built from the ground up, with integrated SMT (simultaneous multi-threading), which is a first for AMD and will "take efficient advantage of a longer pipeline", reports PC Perspective. AMD will be doubling the CPU thread count, stepping up against Intel's HyperThreading technology with the new Zen-based range of processors. There's also a high bandwidth and low latency caching system that will be used to "feed the beast", thanks to the 14nm process we're looking at greater power efficiency and a nice speed boost of 40% more instructions per clock (IPC).
If you don't think the 40% increase in IPC is real, Ryan Shrout from PCPer says "AMD proved to me today that the claims are real and that we will see the immediate impact of that architecture bump from day one". I've been hearing internal rumblings that Zen is underpromised right now, and will have even more performance - and now that Shrout has had AMD prove the performance of Zen to him, my excitement meter has just shifted further into 'please, can I have it now'.
Renowned overclocker Elmor has set a new world record by pushing Intel's i7 6950X an insane 91% past its base clock speed.
At this year's Intel IDF 2016 "Technical Innovation" event, Elmor was able to overclock Intel's Broadwell-E i7 6950X CPU to 5731 MHz, which is 91.06% past the CPUs base clock speed. Elmor achieved this speed by using liquid nitrogen cooling on an ASUS Rampage V Edition 10 X99 motherboard, an ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Ti Matrix video card, and G.Skill's Trident Z DDR4 RAM.
For more info on Intel's Broadwell-E i7 6950X Extreme Edition CPU, check out our official review.
Intel used a benchmark slide during its presentation at ISC 2016 to detail their Xeon Phi processors being 2.3x faster than NVIDIA GPUs in neural network training. According to Intel's data and comparisons, the Xeon Phi is also 38% better at scaling. Well, NVIDIA isn't happy and it's ready to fight, taking to a new blog post saying "We'd like to address these claims and correct some misperceptions that may arise".
First off, NVIDIA claims that Intel used Caffe AlexNet data that is 18 months old, with four Xeon Phi servers against four Maxwell-based GPUs. The latest version which is publicly available, and NVIDIA providing a link to it in their blog, sees NVIDIA's four Maxwell GPUs delivering 30% faster training time than the four Xeon Phi servers. Using four of the new Pascal-based Titan X GPUs, training is a whopping 90% faster than four of Intel's Xeon Phi servers, and if you want to put the boot heel on Intel's neck, just a single DGX-1 machine from NVIDIA is 5x faster than four Xeon Phi servers.
NVIDIA goes into great detail on its blog so be sure to check it out, with the post finishing with NVIDIA saying "It's great that Intel is now working on deep learning. This is the most important computing revolution with the era of AI upon us and deep learning is too big to ignore. But they should get their facts straight".
AMD is working towards Zen as we speak, but more leaked details have arrived on the 4-core and 8-core CPUs which will feature 8 and 16 CPU threads in total, respectively. The new details are on the clock speeds and TDP, with the 16-threaded Zen CPU clocking in at 2.8Ghz base frequency and up to 3.2GHz boost. The new 16-thread CPU will be a 95W part according to the leaks.
If we compare it to Intel's Broadwell-E based, 16-threaded Core i7-6900K processor, which is also made on the 14nm process, Intel has a higher 130W TDP. AMD's 8-core/16-thread Zen-based CPU has a TDP of just 95W in comparison, 35W less than Intel's offering with the 6900K. AMD has some great efficiency tricks up its sleeve with Zen, but the 14nm process used by Intel is different to the 14nm FinFET process that Samsung and Globalfoundries use for AMD's new CPUs.
Performance wise, we already expect over 40% more instructions per cycle (IPC) over the previous generation CPU architecture from AMD, codenamed Excavator. The older FX-8350 from AMD was an 8-threaded CPU (4 physical CPU cores) codenamed Orochi, while the Zen-based Summit Ridge CPU is twice as fast in Cinebench 15, according to AMD. If we're looking at twice the efficiency per core, the new 4- and 8-core processors are going to be rather large improvements for AMD, putting them on a more level playing field against Intel.
Originally planned to be exclusively supported by Windows 10, Microsoft has reverted its policy and decided Skylake will be supported by Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 as well.
"Enterprise customers are moving to Windows 10 faster than any version of Windows. At the same time, we recognize that, in some instances, customers have a few systems that require longer deployment timeframes," explains Shad Larsen, Director of Windows Business Planning. "We listened to this feedback and today are sharing an update to our 6th Gen Intel Core (Skylake) support policy. We have extended the support period from July 17, 2018 to the end of support dates for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1; and we will provide all applicable security updates."
The change means Windows 7 support until 2020 and 8.1 until 2023. It does not apply to Kaby Lake and future Intel processors which will not be supported by Windows versions older than Windows 10.
Intel has finally flicked the power button on its 10nm fabrication facility, with the prototyping phase to begin very soon. Intel will reportedly enter the trial production stage in the coming weeks, with Intel shipping Kaby Lake-based CPUs to customers on time.
The company will be starting its 10nm factory during Q3 2016, confirming that it's upcoming Cannonlake processors are still on track. This means we should see trial productions begin later this year, where volume production will begin in the first half of 2017. Intel's current 14nm process was delayed into the mainstream market by 6-9 months or so, but in that time it still managed to keep a node lead over competitors in Samsung and TSMC.
AMD is set to get back into the CPU game in a big way with its next generation Zen architecture, which will be arriving to consumers in early 2017 - but reports have surfaced stating that an early run of Zen CPUs will hit later this year. We've already reported on the 32-core server variants of Zen, with the consumer CPUs hitting 4- and 8-core CPU markets.
During AMD's recent earnings call, company CEO Lisa Su said: "We have been very focused on the server launch for first half of 2017. Desktop should launch before that. In terms of true volume ability, I believe it will be in the first quarter of 2017. We may ship some limited volume towards the end of the fourth quarter, based on how bring up goes and the customer readiness".
Su said that AMD should have a limited run of Zen processors for their partners to use in testing in order to prepare for the desktop launch of the Zen-powered CPUs. The limited shipment should kick off in Q4 2016 (so, not long now) with the consumer launch in early 2017 aimed at high-end desktops and enthusiasts - where AMD has been losing to Intel for a number of years now.
Right now it's all eyes and ears on Polaris and graphics cards with the Radeon RX 480, and the soon-to-be-released Radeon RX 470 and RX 460, but the upcoming Zen architecture is beginning to rear its head, and will rock CPU sockets in the very near future.
According to the latest leaks, engineering samples of the Zen CPU are around the place, with 4-, 8-, 24-, and 32-core variants in the wild. The first two SKUs will slot into the new AM4 socket, while the 24- and 32-core variants will be used in servers.
The quad-core Zen CPU has a 65W TDP, while the 8-core model rocks a 95W TDP - teasing the efficiency tweaks that AMD will deliver with Zen. The 24- and 32-core server SKUs ramp the TDP up to 150W and 180W, respectively. When it comes to tech specs, we should see the quad-core Zen CPU with 8 CPU threads 2MB of L2 cache and 8MB of L3 cache while the 8-core Zen CPU will rock 16 threads with double the cache.