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Clearspeed Makes Tall Claims for Future Chip

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the pound-of-salt dept.

Hardware 254

Josuah writes "ClearSpeed Technology announced today a new multithreaded array processor named the CS301. Their press release states the chip can achieve 25Gflops for only 3W of power. New Scientist and TechNewsWorld have articles on this chip, each with more information about the chip. I wondering if this is too good to be true." The key phrase is in the Wired story: "Soon to be in prototype, the chip...". "Soon to be in prototype" is synonymous with "does not exist".

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Who needs that much speed anyway? (0, Redundant)

Mycroft_514 (701676) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212167)

Besides, it isn't real until it is used in some computer somewhere

Re:Who needs that much speed anyway? (0)

sixdotoh (584811) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212217)

"Who needs that much speed anyway?"

Remember the days when people in the industry made statements such as "512kb of RAM should be more that enough for anyone"? That was about a decade ago. Just wait a few years.

I remember the quotes of 256KB of ram and 10MB(+) (1)

Mycroft_514 (701676) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212253)

of disk space will be all anyone would ever need. But really, what requires 25G flops?

Maybe if we decide to model "Life, the Universe and Everything?"

Re:I remember the quotes of 256KB of ram and 10MB( (2, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212473)

But really, what requires 25G flops?
Maybe if we decide to model "Life, the Universe and Everything?"


No, just modelling the surf breaking on a beach would need several beowulf clusters of these chips. Or the flow of gas through an airplane turbine. Or the weather in a small region of planet Earth. There are many simulations of non-linear systems whose simulation require a lot more CPU power than is likely to be available on the near future.

And what about the human brain itself? Our current computers are still so far from the data processing capability in our brains that many people doubt it will be possible at all. Assume we have about 100 billion (10^11) neurons, and each neuron has about a thousand synapses. Assume the simulation of each synapse would need one hundred floating point operations per second. Therefore, to simulate the operation of a typical human brain one would need ten million Gflops, equivalent to a Beowulf cluster of 400000 of these chips. That's what it'll take to do the AI in Duke Nukem Whenever...

Re:Who needs that much speed anyway? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212400)


oh will you SHUT THE FUCK UP with that crap already. i fucking hate people that throw that around when they don't know jack shit. you fucking cunt. You're either not that old or you're lying because nobody used to talk like that. Even "back in the day" wanted more more MORE just like they do now, fuckhead.

Hey, a-hole(+) (1)

Mycroft_514 (701676) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212478)

The 256K limit was in DOS 1.0 and the quoted person was Bill Gates. And I am that old. The first serious machine I worked with had 16K of usable memory.

Re:Who needs that much speed anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212220)

Who needs that much speed anyway?

Just yesterday it was, "Who needs a 300GB disk drive."

Me. We do SAR radar processing [google.com] . Computers does a lot more that most Slashdotters seem to reallize.

Re:Who needs that much speed anyway? (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212243)

No, it isn't real until someone's started the Linux port.

It IS going to be used, real soon too!! (1)

t0ny (590331) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212347)

I just heard it is going to be used in the Infinium Labs Phantom Console!

I GOT A GREASED UP YODA DOLL SHOVED UP MY ASS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212175)

GO LINUX!

Re:I GOT A GREASED UP YODA DOLL SHOVED UP MY ASS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212193)

Grease is for pussies..

GO VAX

yes (-1)

Hall and Oates (575706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212180)

but, does it run linux? And, does it have beowulf cluster options?

Looool. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212183)

Looooooooool.

In other news... (3, Funny)

Ikeya (7401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212184)

Today it was announced that Duke Nukem Forever would be optimized to run on the new CS301 processor develpoed by a new firm called ClearSpeed Technology. It is said that with this newfound processing speed, Duke Nukem Forever will be the most realistic game ever realeased.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212216)

>Duke Nukem Forever will be the most realistic game ever realeased.

I've said it once and I'll say it again : it's called Duke Nukem Forever because it's the amount of time it'll require to code the damn thing. There's no release date for that same reason!

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212426)

Ahh, well you're obviously a very witty individual.

Re:In other news... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212447)



HAHAHAHHAH AHHAH AHHA AHHHHAH AHHAHAHHAH

Making fun of DNF is SOOOOO original and funny and boy you're on the cutting edge of comedy nobody else is doing it and it FUCKING HILARIOUS hey your should make fun of John Romero and Daikatna too that would be witty but your know about Dietondicka lol *snort* FOEVER i bet you said forever because the game is taking a long time! lol funny lmfao i hope your dick falls off asshole

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212448)

Gee, that joke didn't sound forced. Forgive me for not laughing.

Re:In other news... (1)

insanecarbonbasedlif (623558) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212450)

>Duke Nukem Forever will be the most realistic game ever realeased.

I've said it once and I'll say it again : it's called Duke Nukem Forever because it's the amount of time it'll require to code the damn thing. There's no release date for that same reason!


But will you say it...

...Forever?

Duke Nukem 4-0 - balder, fatter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212483)

Garland, TX --

Looks like middle age hasn't been kind to action hero Duke Nukem. In a prerelease press preview, presented by Joe Siegler, the studly hero is bald with a huge beer-gut.

"We wanted to flesh out the character of Duke", Siegler said, "we want to make him more a character that his fans can directly relate to".

In the new title, Duke is in a custody dispute with his ex-wife. Apparently, since he lost his job, he's in arrears on his child-support payments. When his (alien) wife kidnaps their kids and leaves for her mothers' on Alogl II, it's butt-kicking time!"

Re:In other news... (2, Funny)

sixdotoh (584811) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212258)

In a similar article, Microsoft released a statement saying they are pushing back the release date of "Longhorn" until the CS301 is ready for home desktop use.

Soon to be in PROTOTYPE?? (1)

Deflagro (187160) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212185)

Why would they release a story on something that isn't even in prototype? Seems silly to me. I have plans for a 200GHZ chip, but I still have to make a prototype, film at 11!
It would be interesting though.

Soon to be in prototype. (1)

Gutboy_Barrelhouse (260624) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212187)

"Soon to be in prototype" is synonymous with "does not exist"

Oh, right on. It's about time someone started developing a mass-market Loch Ness monster.

So theoretically... (1)

captain igor (657633) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212198)

We could put 32 or so of these in a computer and generate the same ammount of heat as, say a Pentium IV but with almost a Terflop of performance? This strikes me as too good to be true...

Re:So theoretically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212242)

You can already achieve more computing power for the same watts by simply using VIA C3 processors (yes, they may be under-powered compared to a P4, but if you can use, say, 20 or 30 C3's in place of a single P4, the P4 has no chance in hell).

Re:So theoretically... (1)

pmz (462998) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212388)

We could put 32 or so of these in a computer and generate the same ammount of heat as, say a Pentium IV but with almost a Terflop of performance? This strikes me as too good to be true...

Some of the special-purpose GPUs can probably make this claim. "We can do 1TFlop...as long as it consists only of function X." Sun's MAJC was advertised as doing 6GFlops for two cores four years ago, so scaling something similar to 1TFlop today doesn't seem to be totally out of reach (40 CPUs would probably do it).

If I have the physics right... (3, Interesting)

Spamalamadingdong (323207) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212459)

... parallel processing units may perform a lot more ops/sec/watt than one single unit. The speed of a processor depends on the time required to charge and discharge the stray capacitances of its connects, and the impedance of its transistors increases as the drive voltage decreases so the RC time constant goes up and the speed goes down. However, the energy required to charge the capacitance scales as voltage squared, so by accepting a hit on the speed (due to the voltage drop) you can do the same calculation with less energy. Clearspeed seems to be taking parallelism to the sub-processor level in order to reduce heat loads; their operations may take longer to complete, but they can do more operations in the same time as long as the code can use the processors in parallel. Thus the emphasis on "multi-threaded", because it wouldn't work otherwise.

"Soon to be in prototype" (4, Informative)

psyconaut (228947) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212202)

Chips are virtually fabricated and tested well before the first bit of silicon is etched....you can actually be pretty sure of both a chips performance and reliability just from simulations these days. Also, having to etch development chips constantly is both expensive and time consuming....so the longer you can leave a design in virtual space, the better.

-psy

Re:"Soon to be in prototype" (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212279)

Like those Russian CPUs that were "soon to be in prototype" back in 98-99 that were going to kick Intel and AMDs ass in the 2000-2002 time-frame.

Re:"Soon to be in prototype" (1)

psyconaut (228947) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212317)

I was just explaining that it's not unusual to finish a design and even know it's performance before you fab a single piece of silicon.

I'm not justifying their claims ;-)

-psy

Re:"Soon to be in prototype" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212313)

One of these days have the chip in 'virtual space' will be sufficient. You will be able to apply data to the virtual chip and get processed data out, in high speed because millions of copies of these virtual chips will be all over the net. WHo needs hardware then?

possible synergetic approach? (1)

hkfczrqj (671146) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212372)

you can actually be pretty sure of both a chips performance and reliability just from simulations these days

yes... its true... imagine: they build the first bunch of prototypes, and with all that power, even if they dont achieve the 25 Gflops at that stage, those prototypes can be used to simulate and tune the second generation of chips and so on ... just a dream/thought

Cheers...


PD: I was tempted to say 'imagine a beowulf cluster of these'... yikes... i said it

Thing is (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212405)

You can make theoritical things on a VHDL simulator that you'll never be able to make into actual silicon. The real magic of companies like Intel, IBM, AMD, etc isn't designing an uber powerful chip, it's designing an uber powerful chip that can actually be realizied in silicon, and at a cost that makes it worth selling.

There has been more than one firm that has suffered from simulator disease. They get all caught up in making an awesome, ass-kicking theoritical design that will eclipse everything and everybody that they forget about physical limits of actual silicon. They then find, when they try to really implement the chip, it just can't be done.

Re:Thing is (1)

psyconaut (228947) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212465)

Yup, valid points....

I'm lucky if I can get my VHDL for FPGA and CPLD designs working to start with, let alone create silicon I can't actually pseudo-fab ;-)

-psy

Key phrase? (1)

slipgun (316092) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212203)

The key phrase is in the Wired story...

No, the key phrase is this is too good to be true

they can shove it up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212204)

here [goatse.cx]

This weekend! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212225)


Saturday.. Saturday..Saturday!!

Clearspeed will tear through the competition with their awesome megachip the CS301!!

3 WATTS of ThrowYouBackInYourSeat Power! Twice the speed! Twice Twice! Twice!

Press Release: ClearSpeed web site is getting slow (-1, Redundant)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212226)

ClearSpeed Announces CS301 Multi-Threaded Array Processor to Deliver High Performance Computing and Power Efficiency October 14th, 2003 Highest Floating Point Performance Chip Executes Complex Mathematical Applications in a Fraction of the Power and Time. SAN JOSE, Calif., October 14th, 2003 -- ClearSpeed Technology, a leading provider of high performance, low power chip-based solutions, today announced the ClearSpeed CS301, a multi-threaded array processor that enables dramatic improvements in performance and power consumption for intensive floating point applications. At over 25 GFLOPS peak performance, the new chip provides more than twice the processing speed of competitive products. At 10 GFLOPS per Watt, power consumption is also twenty times more efficient. As a result, the CS301 delivers up to a ninety percent reduction in purchase price and running costs, making high performance computing affordable and available to companies of all sizes. "With conventional processor design, increasing performance has tended to come with real penalties in power consumption and heat dissipation, to the point where computing cannot keep up with the demands of today's emerging applications and rapidly increasing volumes of data," said Tom Beese, CEO of ClearSpeed Technology. "The CS301 is designed specifically to meet those needs with high performance, power efficiency and full programmability in C combined into a single chip. The CS301 is the first in a family of ClearSpeed microprocessors that we believe will challenge present day thinking by creating a world where scientists, bio-informaticians, engineers and content creators alike can have access to high performance computing anywhere, anytime." The CS301 is based on a multi-threaded array processing (MTAP) architecture and includes 64 processing elements, 384 Kbytes of on-chip SRAM and I/O ports interconnecting through ClearSpeed's ClearConnect(R) bus. Each processing element has its own floating point units, local memory and I/O capability, making the CS301 ideally suited for applications which have high processing or bandwidth requirements. The ClearConnect bus is a packet switched network that provides high bandwidth and low power consumption, supporting multiple concurrent transfers giving even higher aggregate bandwidth. As a result, complex mathematically based applications such as, computational biology and drug discovery, digital content creation, nanotechnology development, scientific research and financial modelling can now be executed in a fraction of the time. "We are gratified to see the immediate high level of interest displayed by OEM's in the overall system improvements enabled by the CS301," said Mike Calise, president of ClearSpeed U.S. "The dual benefit of performance and efficiency is empowering companies to accelerate existing applications as well as inspiring them to explore new applications that were previously inaccessible." The CS301 can serve either as a co-processor alongside an Intel or AMD CPU within a high performance workstation, blade server or cluster configuration, or as a standalone processor for embedded DSP applications like radar pulse compression or image processing. In applications where the CS301 is acting as a co-processor, dynamic libraries offload an application's inner loops to the CS301. Although these inner loops only make up a small portion of the source code, these loops are responsible for the vast majority of the application's running time. By offloading the inner loops, the CS301 can bypass the traditional bottleneck caused by a CPU's limited mathematical capability, executing the core of the application more than twice as fast as anything else in the marketplace. "To deliver such high levels of performance with full programmability and outstanding gains in power efficiency is a very significant achievement," said Chris Piercy, president and chairman of the Northern California Nanotechnology Initiative. "We believe this technology will accelerate the development of nanotechnology and its applications across various industries by making high performance computing more accessible and scalable than ever before." The ClearSpeed CS301 is fully programmable in high-level languages and its software development kit is available now with a C compiler, graphical debugger and a full suite of supporting tools and libraries. ABOUT CLEARSPEED ClearSpeed Technology is a semiconductor company focused on delivering high performance, low power, parallel processing solutions for the computing and communications industries. ClearSpeed's advanced multi-threaded array processing technology provides its customers with the ability to significantly accelerate data intensive applications at extremely low power. Privately funded, ClearSpeed has offices in the USA and UK and already has over 40 patents granted and in process.

Re:Press Release: ClearSpeed web site is getting s (0, Redundant)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212300)

Sorry, got a 500 Server error when posting that, and didn't Plain Text it.

ClearSpeed Announces CS301 Multi-Threaded Array Processor to Deliver High Performance Computing and Power Efficiency
October 14th, 2003

Highest Floating Point Performance Chip Executes Complex Mathematical Applications in a Fraction of the Power and Time.

SAN JOSE, Calif., October 14th, 2003 -- ClearSpeed Technology, a leading provider of high performance, low power chip-based solutions, today announced the ClearSpeed CS301, a multi-threaded array processor that enables dramatic improvements in performance and power consumption for intensive floating point applications. At over 25 GFLOPS peak performance, the new chip provides more than twice the processing speed of competitive products. At 10 GFLOPS per Watt, power consumption is also twenty times more efficient. As a result, the CS301 delivers up to a ninety percent reduction in purchase price and running costs, making high performance computing affordable and available to companies of all sizes.

"With conventional processor design, increasing performance has tended to come with real penalties in power consumption and heat dissipation, to the point where computing cannot keep up with the demands of today's emerging applications and rapidly increasing volumes of data," said Tom Beese, CEO of ClearSpeed Technology. "The CS301 is designed specifically to meet those needs with high performance, power efficiency and full programmability in C
combined into a single chip. The CS301 is the first in a family of ClearSpeed microprocessors that we believe will challenge present day thinking by creating a world where scientists, bio-informaticians, engineers and content creators alike can have access to high performance computing anywhere, anytime."

The CS301 is based on a multi-threaded array processing (MTAP) architecture and includes 64 processing elements, 384 Kbytes of on-chip SRAM and I/O ports interconnecting through ClearSpeed's ClearConnect(R) bus. Each processing element has its own floating point units, local memory and I/O capability, making the CS301 ideally suited for applications which have high processing or bandwidth requirements. The ClearConnect bus is a packet switched network that provides high bandwidth and low power consumption, supporting multiple concurrent transfers giving even higher aggregate bandwidth.

As a result, complex mathematically based applications such as, computational biology and drug discovery, digital content creation, nanotechnology development, scientific research and financial modelling can now be executed in a fraction of the time.

"We are gratified to see the immediate high level of interest displayed by OEM's in the overall system improvements enabled by the CS301," said Mike Calise, president of ClearSpeed U.S. "The dual benefit of performance and efficiency is empowering companies to accelerate existing applications as well as inspiring them to explore new applications that were previously inaccessible."

The CS301 can serve either as a co-processor alongside an Intel or AMD CPU within a high performance workstation, blade server or cluster configuration, or as a standalone processor for embedded DSP applications like radar pulse compression or image processing. In applications where the CS301 is acting as a co-processor, dynamic libraries offload an application's inner loops to the CS301. Although these inner loops only make up a small portion of the source code, these loops are responsible for the vast majority of the application's running time. By offloading the inner loops, the CS301 can bypass the traditional bottleneck caused by a CPU's limited mathematical capability, executing the core of the application more than twice as fast as anything else in the marketplace.

"To deliver such high levels of performance with full programmability and outstanding gains in power efficiency is a very significant achievement," said Chris Piercy, president and chairman of the Northern California Nanotechnology Initiative. "We believe this technology will accelerate the development of nanotechnology and its applications across various industries by making high performance computing more accessible and scalable than ever before."

The ClearSpeed CS301 is fully programmable in high-level languages and its software development kit is available now with a C compiler, graphical debugger and a full suite of supporting tools and libraries.

ABOUT CLEARSPEED
ClearSpeed Technology is a semiconductor company focused on delivering high performance, low power, parallel processing solutions for the computing and communications industries. ClearSpeed's advanced multi-threaded array processing technology provides its customers with the ability to significantly accelerate data intensive applications at extremely low power. Privately funded, ClearSpeed has offices in the USA and UK and already has over 40 patents granted and in process.

Re:Press Release: ClearSpeed web site is getting s (0)

omarques (685690) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212385)

In other news, slashdot.org announces that now allows the use of the html tag "<br>" in the comments and introduced a "Preview" button that shows the user how the comment will appear before the actual posting.

Re:Press Release: ClearSpeed web site is getting s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212419)

The CS301 can serve either as a co-processor alongside an Intel or AMD CPU within a high performance workstation, blade server or cluster configuration, or as a standalone processor for embedded DSP applications like radar pulse compression or image processing.

so there, its a dsp. lets do some simple fictional estimates ..

strip a 3ghz p3 down to the XMMS core, make the ops 1 cycle/instruction, restructure the pipeline to loop only (no branches) ... lets see

3ghz minus some overhead.. lets say 2ghz effectivly, 2ghz*4 operands per cycle.. 8 gflops, and this strange beast wouldnt have been designed for it from the ground up anyway.

move along, nothing special to see here, dsps like that were able to encode/decode mpeg1 constrained in realtime when 386s were state of the art.

Co processor (1, Insightful)

key134 (673907) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212230)

When it comes to market, the chip will likely be sold to consumers as a co-processor -- an add-on PCI card that works in parallel with a PC's main processor

It's not replacing our current processors. It is just helping them with intensive floating-point calculations. Is that really going to be helpful to the average user? Keith

Re:Co processor (2, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212429)

Everything old is new again... eventually.

From reading the articles, it seems it is indeed designed to be a math coprocessor. Since the Pentium came out, those have been out of style. The Pentium effectively included a 80487 on the same die, and on other architectures that was done even earlier. But now it comes back - only now the idea is a far more powerful coprocessor for scientific functions.

No, it's not going to be very helpful to the average users. But for those of us that spend a lot of time using our computers to do complex mathematical calculations, it could be damn helpful, if it turns out to be anywhere near as powerful as they claim it will be.

Re:Co processor (1)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212456)


It's not replacing our current processors. It is just helping them with intensive floating-point calculations. Is that really going to be helpful to the average user?

Considering their initial chips (if and when actually made) will be selling for $16,500 I don't think the "average user" is their initial intended market. They'll go to the clustering people and research folks first.

Seems obvious. (1)

Prince_Ali (614163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212233)

I wondering if this is too good to be true.

I thinking it is!

Re:Seems obvious. (1)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212506)

How you know this?

Skeptical (4, Funny)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212238)

As well as the fact that I've seen this press release trolled by AC's on Slashdot.

25Gflops on 3W? That must be some unorthodox technology at work there. Anyone hear anything about some research corporation finding an amazing processor in a robot from the future?

Re:Skeptical (1)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212268)


25Gflops on 3W?

Clearspeed forgets to mention the several hundred litres of expensive liquid helium needed to make this possible. :)

Re:Skeptical (1)

ComputerSlicer23 (516509) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212315)

Uhhh, if you had liquid helium, that means you'd be sucking off a lot of heat, which means lots of heat is generated, which means lots of energy was put into the system. Which means it used more then 3Watts.

More likely, it only uses 3W while in the low power mode, making no calculations or some such... :-)

Kirby

Re:Skeptical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212362)

More likely, it only uses 3W while in the low power mode, making no calculations or some such... :-)

You mean, when they have the power turned off?

Re:Skeptical (1)

the_consumer (547060) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212430)

Or, the chip might be manufactured using low-temperature superconductors.

Re:Skeptical (1)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212361)

No, they forgot to mention that it removes any stain known to man, restores rough and damaged skin, makes an old corroded penny bright and shiny as new, reverses aging AND tones your abs, what would you expect to pay for this? $199? no. $99? no. All for the low low price of $19.95 per month, but WAIT, call now and receive a second ClearSpeed absolutely free, that's right, an $80 value at no additional cost, and THAT'S NOT ALL, mention that you saw this program and you will get a complimentary terry-cloth bathrobe COMPLETELY FREE + shipping and handling, call now to receive this amazing one-time offer, operators are standing by!

Re:Skeptical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212286)

>Anyone hear anything about some research corporation finding an amazing processor in a robot from the future?

We didn't find anything in our factory, we're not hiding anything, we're just able to innovate more than our competitors.

We do have a robotic arm [ebay.com] for sale though.

Re:Skeptical (0)

fussman (607784) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212294)

Well, that basic plot starter has been in many, MANY scf fi films and tv shows. It's about time it actually happened in real life.

Re:Skeptical (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212340)

well..

if you have only one possible flop(floating point op? i dunno, i've never bothered to check on these usually fairy tale figures beyond bogomips).

for example, you can only add 0.001 to 0.001, but you can do that 25 000 000 000 times a second..

Re:Skeptical (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212391)

I'm betting it's more along the lines of entropy calculations.

You know, the numbers that can be derived from the numbers that the chip produces? Yeah.

( :) - For the humor-impaired )

Re:Skeptical (1)

sageFool (36961) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212440)

> Anyone hear anything about some research
> corporation finding an amazing processor in a
> robot from the future?

Where have you been? The robot is currently running the state of California, which needs cash to ease it's budget crisis. See, it all fits!!

Re:Skeptical (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212484)

That must be some unorthodox technology at work there. Anyone hear anything about some research corporation finding an amazing processor in a robot from the future?

Don't be silly, that's just a movie. It was found at Roswell.

(or the MiB need more budget - oops I'm guilty too)

Coprocessor Price (1)

ChrisBrown1 (212711) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212241)

Only $16,000! I'll take two!
But where's the desktop bus bandwidth supposed to come from? I Think it'll choke on my PC133 RAM. Whatever desktop machine they're targeting is what I want for Christmas.

Re:Coprocessor Price (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212278)

Another company, called "ClutterTech" has conceptual designs for a 4.543 TeraFlop RAM module. Unfortunately it comes only in 8,192 byte SIMMs. They're still working on it.

Re:Coprocessor Price (1)

ChrisBrown1 (212711) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212310)

8,192 Bytes? Yeah, That's what my RCA COSMAC ELF 1802 Hex Keypad had. It sure could have used that upgrade. Maybe faster RAM would have sped it up.

Re:Coprocessor Price (1)

bahamat (187909) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212358)

Here's my favorite line from the article:

Putting around 20 ClearSpeed chips into a few personal computers could potentially provide the sort of power normally only found in a supercomputer built from hundreds of parallel processors or specialised hardware.

Yea, that's right. A $16,000 comodity processor.

Join #P on DALnet (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212245)

Join #P on DALnet and message Zac for some hot goat-sex pics!

-- The WIPO Avenger

Reminds me.... (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212259)

.... of Starbridge systems....

Jaysyn

Re:Reminds me.... (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212341)

I take that back, apparently they aren't vapor like I thought. NASA's bought a couple...

Jaysyn

echoes of Transmeta (3, Insightful)

mblase (200735) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212260)

I'm reminded of all the promises we heard for the Transmeta chip, only a fraction of which are being realized. And they have an actual product to demonstrate, mind you.

Yeah, it sounds like wishful thinking. I have little faith in processors from unknown companies that claim to do what Intel, AMD and IBM combined haven't yet been able to achieve.

Diamonds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212262)

I can't wait until they come out with diamond based processors. They can provide peformance in the 200Ghz range, and now that that fabrication methods to produce flawless diamonds has been perfected. Read the article in Wired a few months ago for more info about this.

Who's got the thermodynamics degree? (1)

Sean80 (567340) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212269)

Way back when, when I was reading that classic crytographic book whose name I can't remember by that guy whose name I also can't remember, he was saying that a 256 bit symmetric key would be practically unbreakable since you'd need the total energy output of the Sun for a year to make that many phase changes in the computer.

So, in that kind of light, can anybody here with thermodynamic knowledge compare the total number of phase changes required for this speed versus the energy which has been claimed it needs?

Admitted Vapour ware... (1)

jm91509 (161085) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212270)

And its still an article?

Slow news day I guess...

It's a math coprocessor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212272)

It looks like a math coprocessor, to be used in combination with a regular CPU. Remember how, back in the day, math coprocessors were an option for your Macintosh or 286 PC? Kind of like that.

Good news for OpenOffice.org users. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212281)

No more having to wait a minute for it to load!

Re:Good news for OpenOffice.org users. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212342)

Hey, OpenOffice.org Ver 1.1 is out, It's way faster, loading in only 50 secs now!

sounds familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212284)

now they just need to hire Linus Torvalds and we'll be good to go!

Great, a NEW kind of vaporware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212297)

Not just any old vaporware, HARD vaporware!

Pretty good but not amazing..... (1)

dracken (453199) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212304)

....The announcement might be describing vaporware but 3W / 25 Gflops isnt too amazing to definitely indicate vaporware. ARM VFP9-S [convergenc...otions.com] co-processor is about 0.4 Gflops for about 0.8 watt (about 1.5 gflops for 3 watt). Keep in mind that it was introduced in 2001. 4 years and 15 fold improvement seems possible.....

Re:Pretty good but not amazing..... (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212349)

And modern desktop CPUs are what -- 3-6 Gflops for 80+ watts?

this kind of thing is un-heard of (0)

compubomb (612155) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212311)

So they now think we can go from the NASA Space shuttle to StarTrek Next generations in terms of computational speed, i find this very hard to believe that they can bring us this far in technology in such a short jump. To me it's like when they build the first jet, now we go from builting the first jet to reaching the speed of a bullet via the SR71 Blackbird. Maybe i haven't done enough research into their methodologies in this technology, but i'm very doubtful.

25 GFLOPs of performance and 2 x 1.6 GB/sec bus (2, Insightful)

baseinfinity (18023) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212314)

... best case, and 128 K of cache.

Unless this thing is working on highly specialized data sets, it doesn't matter how much data the core can mow through if it can't get the data fast enough. Why do you think AMD and Intel are so obsessed with their memory interfaces? There's little difference between the Athlon and the Athlon 64 besides large data width and fancy memory / SMP interfaces.

Re:25 GFLOPs of performance and 2 x 1.6 GB/sec bus (1)

LxDengar (610889) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212381)

But there must be thousands of applications for this chip which can be sent in small amounts of data. Considering this chip is focusing on discreet floating point math, and contains its own internal registers (64 of them), I would think that there are many calculations that could be complete done on chip - data in, answer out.

What about IO, RAM? (1)

king_ramen (537239) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212328)

it would be quite difficult to get high performance IO through a PCMCIA bus. I can see its use for large matrix computations but not generally useful as an "OS" CPU.

Unless they have some monster NUMA architecture RAM access will also suffer dramatically. RAM contention on a 64-way system would be AWFUL and there is NO WAY in hell they would access system RAM through PCMCIA. It is certainly an interesting idea but I do not see a way for this technology to be useful without lots of changes to existing software and program design. This is NOT like adding 64 CPUs to your home machine.

WOW! A chip that fast (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212336)

A chip like that may have enough speed to power the vibrator your mother has stuck up her anus!

The other key words (1)

pestilence4hr (652767) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212359)

Strauss warned that writing software for the chip's complex architecture might be a stumbling block, but the company has assured him that its compiler makes it easy to program.
Putting aside for a second the fact that their claim is not backed by a working prototype, this sentence should make you weary that even if they did you would only see this performance on a benchmark, and not on any real applications.

If, on the other hand, they do in fact have a chip that is not too hard to program and can pound crunch numbers that quickly, it will certainly bring with it a revolution in high performance computing, and probably change the world as we know it.

Re:The other key words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212410)

Change the world one $16G at a time...

Works for Apple (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212469)


<a href="http://www.gpgpu.org/">Graphics cards used for general computing</a>

Apple = altivec =vector processor.

64 parallel FPUs (1)

flaming-opus (8186) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212365)

sounds like it might make a very nice DSP chip. However lots of simple, non-contentious, non-overlapping floatingpoint computation is really not a problem most desktop or notebook users are struggling with. In fact it's really not a problem that super-computers are struggling with. There have been pci cards with power-pc chips on them for years. Curiously enough these cards haven't ended up being used in many top500 supercomputers.

A fast low-voltage DSP chip is interesting for a lot of applications, but not in the way that this press release describes the product.

I don't know... (1)

GoNINzo (32266) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212379)

I don't think it's completely is synonymous.

Knight Rider, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who will soon be in prototype.

Let me guess (0, Redundant)

GreenCrackBaby (203293) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212380)

It's going to power the phantom [phantom.net] .

Speed of access to memory will be limiting factor. (1)

shocking (55189) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212382)

As always, these things will have to be fed data at a high rate in order to be completely utilised. I don't see current PC memory subsystems being able to do it, and as for a PCMCIA card, well forget it!
You'll probably only ever see a tiny fraction of their claimed performance.

The race is on........ (1)

jube_fl (701837) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212384)

to see if clearspeed can develop a CPU that can survive /.

Great idea! Vector processor chip . (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212386)

<a href="http://www.gpgpu.org/">Graphics cards used for general computing</a>

The chip is a vector processor like major 3d graphics cards.

It's a great idea and something that people on slash ,including me,have talked about everytime a powerful graphics card has come out.

The compiler will be key.

Anything that can steal the thunder of INTEL & AMD is fine by me. Their processors are heat emitting loads of crap. If you noticed the amount of wattage that this new chip uses , it's because of the architecture and not fancy transistor technology.

Now you all know that Intel , Sun, Ibm, and Amd do not make efficient processors.

Pricing confusion (1)

Phiz (21461) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212389)

There seems to be wild confusion from ClearSpeed about pricing. In the New Scientist article they quote a starting price of $16,500/chip, but in the Wired article they state you could get a PC with 24 of these chips in it for $25,000.

But either of those prices are pretty high for your average home user. Hopefully someone can give them strong competition without violating their patents.

morons tout creator's newclear power plan (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212403)

that's right. you won't need any fancIE gadgets to participate in the planet/population rescue initiative.

the kode is free/widely available. the speed (of light) that can be attained in this process is immeasurable.

lookout bullow. the daze of the phonIE georgewellian fuddite corepirate nazi execrable, is WANing into coolapps/the abyss, at the speed of right.

consult with/trust in yOUR creator....

kind of slow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7212458)

it doesn't appear that the felonious wons are planning to delete themselves/surrender to the light? how long until the planet/population rescue is complete, & we're free (from the hostage taking scams of the corepirate nazis) again?

Overinflated claims? (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212404)

From their press release:
ClearSpeed Technology, a leading provider of high performance, low power chip-based solutions, today announced the ClearSpeed CS301, a multi-threaded array processor that enables dramatic improvements in performance and power consumption for intensive floating point applications.

But what are these other "high-performance, low-power solutions"? Looking at their web site, the CS301 is the company's only product.

Maspar (4, Interesting)

hobit (253905) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212413)

For the last 10 years or so I've been thinking about how to do just this. What I'm 99% sure they are doing is SIMD on a massive scale. The Maspar (and especially the Maspar-2) were computers along this line.

The basic idea is to have lots of "processing elements" that are basically ALUs with a bit of additional smarts (for branches mainly). Each PE has its own memory. The main processor (probably not the PC CPU) tells each PE what to do. Thus the Single Instruction Multiple Data. Things are a bit more complex then this (branches, pointers, and a few other things cause some problems.) but not too much worse. PE to PE communication is also interesting (the Maspar was a toroid as I recall).

The two basic problems with this type of a design are:

  • You either need a special programming language (and someone who understands the language and understands the problem really well) or a very very good compiler to get anything out of it.
  • The application range is quite limited. Not as limited as supercomputer people seem to think (I mean I've written genetic algorithm code for the Maspar that scales wonderfully.) but still quite limited.

There are also a huge number of other problems. Caches don't generally do a darn thing for massive SIMD computers (if one processing element misses, they all do.) The memory usually has two types of pointers (one to the PE memory and one to global memory). I may contact the company to see if they want to hire a short-term consultant. hummm.... Have PhD will travel?

Join #ranma on irc.darkaxis.com (1)

pope1 (40057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212416)

For a rousing discussion of what applications
this chip could possibly have. Its being sold as
a CO-processor, but what kind of bus will it be used
on? It would seem that all variants of PCI/SBUS would choke.. we really need more information.

unfortunately for them... (2, Funny)

dustmote (572761) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212451)

unfortunately for them, the proof is too big for them to fit in this margin...

Doesn't the Phantom... (1)

Xaoswolf (524554) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212467)

Aren't these used in the Phantom Game console?

BitBoys anyone? (1)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 10 years ago | (#7212492)

http://techzone.pcvsconsole.com/news.php?tzd=1973
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