Demos Knights Corner MIC
Chipzilla has been telling the world+dog at the supercomputing conference SC2011 about its upcoming Xeon E5 processors and been showing off its Knights Corner many integrated core (MIC) solution.
We don't expect to see the new Xeons until the first half of 2012, but Intel has has been shipping the new chips to "a small number of cloud and HPC customers" since September. The E5 family has the same core as the 3960X which Intel launched this week. So far though Intel does not seem to be keen to ramp up any mass production. Some of this might have something to do with problems in production which were rumoured earlier this year. However early benchmarks indicate that it could be a winner.
Knights Corner is a by-product of Intel's canceled GPU (codenamed Larrabee) and is a prototype device for future HPC accelerators. Chipzilla is saying that Knights Corner packs 50 x86 processor cores into a single die built on 22nm technology. The chip is capable of delivering up to 1TFlop of sustained performance in double-precision floating point code. It looks like the cores operate at 1-1.2GHz which is double Nvidia's current high-end M2090 Tesla GPU.