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48 Core Vega 2 in the Making

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the packed-in-like-sardines dept.

206

TobyKY76 writes to tell us The Inquirer is reporting that upstart Azul Systems is planning to integrate 48 cores on their next generation chip. From the article: "The first-generation Vega processor it designed has 24 cores but the firm expects to double that level of integration in systems generally available next year with the Vega 2, built on TSMC's 90nm process and squeezing in 812 million transistors. The progress means that Azul's Compute Appliances will offer up to 768-way symmetric multiprocessing."

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Oh wow!! (1)

liliafan (454080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013089)

Oh my God, 768 way processor!!! I almost had a fit when I saw suns http://www.sun.com/smi/Press/sunflash/2006-03/sunf lash.20060321.3.xml'>t1 processor I need to sit and catch my breath, this is a multithreader's wet dream. Hmmm I wonder how oracle will price running on this processor?

Re:Oh wow!! (2, Funny)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013157)

If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Re:Oh wow!! (2, Interesting)

liliafan (454080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013189)

lol lol, hmmm $40,000 per processor / 2 for virtual processors $20,000 * 768 = $15,360,000 licence fee per chip, no wonder Larry isn't worried about the sales of oracle stagnating, as soon as people upgrade from their old duel core to these he beats billy boy in the billionaires list :op

Re:Oh wow!! (1)

SeeMyNuts! (955740) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013175)

Huh? Only 768? Bah!

I will be designing and selling an Earth Simulator on one chip. Only $50,000,000,000...paid in advance.

Re:Oh wow!! (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013225)

You're far too trusting. Remember, this is the same "online journal" that printed the Google Office Confirmed [theinquirer.net] scoop right after a press conference that announced nothing of the sort.

The Inquirer is taking Azul's word for it at the moment, which is probably why the article is so light on details. About a billion questions pop in my mind when I hear a story like this. The only answer I get is that, "Sun is banging on Azul's door for IP infringement."

Sure.

Does anyone have any real info on these guys? About all I can find is an unsourced Wikipedia article titled Network Attached Processing [wikipedia.org] . It is also lacking in details. (A shill, perhaps?)

Re:Oh wow!! (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013227)

If you've ever read oracles policy on per processor license.
http://www.oracle.com/corporate/press/2005_dec/mul ticoreupdate_dec2005.html [oracle.com]

You would see that it depends upon your architeture. For example when running on UltraSpac you pay for one processor for every 4 cores you have. AMD/Intel multicore you pay for every 2 cores you have. Either way they would have to sit down and devise a per processor license for you. Though you can always purchase per user instead of per processor. This would probably be the best route if your runnings hundreds or thousands of processors.

Re:Oh wow!! (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013298)

Oh my God, 768 way processor!!!

woo hoo... at last... something that has processors left over after allocating one to every task running on this Kubuntu box... ;)

Re:Oh wow!! (1)

br0k_sams0n (848842) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013660)

Azul sells specialized processors for high-end Java applications (last I looked). You can't just slap any binary you want on these things and run it. All apps run inside a proprietary OS inside their boxen, there's no installing what you want here, just uploading jar files.

Take that pop ups! (1)

fernandoh26 (963204) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013097)

Now I can finally deal with the 768 or so pop ups that come up whenever I attempt to use my computer!!

AutoCAD (5, Funny)

turtleAJ (910000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013101)

Behold the power of copy/paste!


Yeah, yeah... my Karma is SUPER negative...

48 cores is a nice start, but.... (4, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013102)

I know of a certain project [wikipedia.org] that's working to put over a million cores into a system (160 into a single chip), and it should be finished and available off-the-shelf within a year or so.

Re:48 cores is a nice start, but.... (1)

joe545 (871599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013129)

The wikipedia link itself says 80 cores per chip not 160.

Re:48 cores is a nice start, but.... (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013148)

No, each thread unit (TU) is a core; there are two cores per processor. (and 80 processors per chip)

The wiki link says 80 not 160 - read (4, Informative)

joe545 (871599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013182)

"Each 64-bit Cyclops64 chip (processor) will run at 500 megahertz and contain 80 cores." While it may have two threads per core, that is not what you claimed. You stated "...that's working to put over a million cores into a system (160 into a single chip)". 160 threads per chip, yes, but not 160 cores.

Re:The wiki link says 80 not 160 - read (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013192)

Yes, I noticed that after I posted my reply. I've fixed the wikipedia article accordingly (I wrote most of it). When I was writing it originally, I got processors and cores confused

Re:48 cores is a nice start, but.... (1)

questionlp (58365) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013197)

Rather: 80 cores per processor package and 2 threads per core.

That equates to: 160 threads per processor package.

For instance: even though the Montecito Itanium is capable of four-threads per processor package, it is only a dual-core (each core is capable of two threads).

Re:48 cores is a nice start, but.... (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013221)

Don't call it "processor package" - it has 80 processors inside of a single integrated circuit, which is called a chip. When the chip is connected with external devices, it's called a board (physical view) or node (logical view).

Cisco/IBM SPP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013210)

A bazillion application specific cores isn't a new idea. Cisco's Silicon Packet Processor [ibm.com] has 188 cores per chip to help the CRS-1 [cisco.com] get to 92 Tbps.

Re:Cisco/IBM SPP (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013235)

You missed the point - they *are not* application specific. It's a general purpose architecture designed for running all sorts of scientific applications.

Re:Cisco/IBM SPP (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013578)

It's a general purpose architecture designed for running all sorts of scientific applications.

So how is being able to run "all sorts of scientific applications" going to help me get more FPS in Duke Nukem Forever?

Finally! (4, Funny)

lax-goalie (730970) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013112)

Enough CPU power that even Microsoft Office will run with a little pep!

Re:Finally! (1)

pdpTrojan (454023) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013237)

Wow!! That might mean OpenOffice will startup in under 10 minutes!!

Vista? (2, Funny)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013255)

Finally, a hardware platform that will support Windows Vista.

Re:Vista? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013358)

Vista? Are you saying a computer with 48 cores on chip can open a portal into the distant future?

Re:Vista? (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013517)

"a hardware platform that will support Windows Vista"

Is more likely than Windows Vista supporting the hardware!

Re:Vista? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013573)

Not quite. I'm still waiting on terrabyte ram chips. Then again they'll probably be avaible before Vista comes out. The twist will be that it requires 1 terrabyte but only supports 512 gig of ram.

Wow! (-1, Redundant)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013114)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these!

imagine... (-1, Redundant)

pxuongl (758399) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013117)

imagine a beowulf cluster of these guys...

Re:imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013158)

A minute earlier - and you could've been first to make that tired joke - but YOU FAIL IT!

  by BigZaphod (12942) Wednesday March 29, @06:42AM (#15013114)
Imagine a beowulf cluster of these!

  by pxuongl (758399) Wednesday March 29, @06:43AM (#15013117)
imagine a beowulf cluster of these guys...

Are they x86 compatible? (1)

Stoutlimb (143245) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013123)

I read the article, and I was a little confused on that point. I would think that they are definately not.

Re:Are they x86 compatible? (2, Informative)

LLuthor (909583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013165)

They are not x86 compatible. They are RISC like chips with an instruction set optimized for for running VM based applications like Java and .NET.

That said, its still very impressive to get that many cores working together, though not as impressive as x86.

Re:Are they x86 compatible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013575)

It will emulate x86!

Not for nothing... (3, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013125)

But I'd tend to take a website's articles with a grain of salt when the links at the bottom of the page are:

"Home Discuss on our Forum Flame Author

Recommend this article Print"


Sounds to me like someone issued a press release and wants a share of the excess VC floating around... and the Inquirer took the bait. They did a good job of not loading the buzzwords, though -- they didn't say they would 'leverage their experience with graphics chip design' or anything like that.

I'd expect this company to turn around and sell out to AMD or Intel at the earliest opportunity, if given the chance.

Re:Not for nothing... (1)

CTho9305 (264265) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013481)

The Inquirer is generally regarded as a somewhat-reliable rumor mill that publishes a lot of tech secrets from leaked documents, plus general industry news.

The next generation PC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013126)

Will there finally be a PC which can actually meet Windows Vista system requirements? Sign me up!

(posting as AC because n00bs with mod points lack any sense of humor)

Re:The next generation PC? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013654)

Stupid cunt, what a tired joke you fucking moron!

Finally! (1)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013132)

768 cores. Finally, a box that will run Everquest II.

Ohhh boy (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013135)

Whoa! Imagine a beowulf cluster of these!

Re:Ohhh boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013236)

Yeah, but does it run Linux?

Upstart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013141)

"...upstart Azul Systems."

The editors are so useless they can't even copy and paste... TFA calls them "startup Azul Systems"

Re:Upstart? (0, Flamebait)

daemon_mf (786046) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013241)

yeah, what a bunch of fucking lamers.

No, not clusters, but .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013145)

... video cards.

Given the super pace that ATI and nVidia are going at, how long before they adopt this tech for their video cards. Heck, their top end cards have more ram, suck more juice, and cost more than most pc's anyway. I can just see some ATI guys drooling over the opportunity to deliver a 512 core (x2 with SLI) video card with 2GB RAM. Of course it'll need it's own separate power supply and cooling tower, but that's another issue and the game freaks will buy it anyway so they can run their favourite game at 1.5x frame rate AA.

768 cores, why? (2, Insightful)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013162)

Dual cores, quad cores, whatever, I can understand that for multitasking and programming. But 768 cores? What would possibly use that many cores? And for any single task, the thing would not be efficient. What exactly is the point of this? Bragging rights?

Re:768 cores, why? (1)

ltwally (313043) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013231)

"...But 768 cores? What would possibly use that many cores?..."
If you'd RTFA, you'd note that they're building chips with 48 cores, not 768.

To answer your question, anyways: More cores == better efficiency == less heat == lower electric bill. Desktop users may not need a 48-core chip (yet), but server farms love designs such as this.

Re:768 cores, why? (1)

fayd2003 (655931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013247)

Think virtualization ....

Re:768 cores, why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013257)

It'd be used for servers, mostly. Webbservers like to devote one thread per request -- this processor, it seems, could handle 768 simultaneous requests from users. Useful for when you get slashdotted.

Re:768 cores, why? (3, Insightful)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013293)

What would possibly use that many cores?

Any task that can be split into multiple processes. An example is an array of data, where a single algorithm is going to be applied to each element. An array of data can represent anything - an image, or stock prices, or DNA, etc.

for any single task, the thing would not be efficient.

It depends on what you really mean by a single task - a given process consists of multiple sequential tasks, where a task may be as fine-grained as a single CPU operation, or perhaps due to overhead of communication between tasks, a tuning effort can be made to say a "task" is some multiple of operations.

When will people stop thinking like this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013353)

But 768 cores? What would possibly use that many cores?

"No one would ever need more than 640K"

"We can just use two digits and assume it's always 1990 something"

sigh...

Re:768 cores, why? (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013438)

But 768 cores? What would possibly use that many cores?


Think "real-time raytracing". Think computer games with real shadows from multiple lights, with curved mirrors, with glass that actually bends light.

Think about a first-person shooter where you can notice someone sneaking up behind you when you spot his reflection off the hood of the car you're using for cover.

Re:768 cores, why? (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013579)

"What exactly is the point of this?"

Simulations, of weather, bio/chemical/nuclear reactions, searching for extra terrestrial signals in the radio spectrum (okay, kidding about that one)... sciency stuff :-p

Re:768 cores, why? (2, Funny)

makapuf (412290) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013616)

yeah, frankly, 640 cores should be enough for everybody, no?

Re:768 cores, why? (1)

Alef (605149) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013656)

What would possibly use that many cores? And for any single task, the thing would not be efficient. What exactly is the point of this?

Remember, the human brain has 100 billion cores, each in itself very inefficient, and yet it is pretty powerful.

There are huge amounts of unexploited parallelism in the tasks our computers perform. The problem is mainly that most of the tools we use (programming languages etc.) are very serial in how they describe and handle problems and solutions. This is natural, of course, since it reflects how computers historically have been operating. But there are limits on how much computational performance one can focus into a single computational unit, and we are reaching them. So expect to see more development in this direction.

Chevy Vega Returns! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013167)



Way to go Vega! Watch those cylinder sleeves if you got 'em!

Re:Chevy Vega Returns! (1)

Bimo_Dude (178966) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013195)

48 cores and 2 doors [ebayimg.com]

What a beauty!

Re:Chevy Vega Returns! (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013300)

vega always rocked pinto's world.. and vega cpu upgraders were the best

Re:Chevy Vega Returns! (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013330)

Imagine the core charge....

Re:Chevy Vega Returns! (1)

miller701 (525024) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013339)

Didn't the signals in the movie and book "contact" come from Vega. There's that one scene where the come back to the array and there's the Chevy Vega fan club.

Would'nt wanna... (3, Funny)

Revellion (803549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013171)

Would'nt wanna see how htop looked on that possible SMP setup... I would have to page down atleast 80-100 pages of per-processor load meters before i got to the processes list :S

Blade servers (4, Funny)

Seanasy (21730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013173)

So, chip manufacturer's have adopted the Gillette approach to marketing chips. I guess it was inevitable after they went from one core to two. The only difference, I expect, is that they'll increase by powers of 2. Soon, we'll have a Intel Mach 512 Core Sensor Extreme or something :P

Re:Blade servers (1)

p!ssa (660270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013367)

YES AGREED! And it will have the one single core on the back side that will actually be useful.

Re:Blade servers (1)

reverend_rodger (879863) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013458)

But will each new processor warrant its own brand new type of thermal paste, keeping in the same line of Gillette? "New Intel Mach 512 Core Sensor Extreme Gel! Reduces your processor's temp by a tiny fraction of a degree, if that, and smells great!"

I don't know much about CPU internals but (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013201)

It would seem to me, that a CPU's workload is roughly limited by the number of transistors it has multiplied by it's MHz speed. No matter how many cores one has, the transistor count should remain roughly the same for a 1-core, 2-core, 8-core chip of the same nm process and is limited by that process (90 nm in this case).

I would suppose (but am not sure) extra cores reduce the number of transistors being idle at any one moment. The downside would seem that each extra core reduces the capability to process highly sequential problems in favor of highly paralell problems.

I know extra cores are nice to an extent, but isn't there a point where the paralellized gains aren't worth reduction in individual core capability? So these chips may be great for networks (routers, etcetera) but not so nice in desktops.

Are have I missed something completely?

Re:I don't know much about CPU internals but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013266)

Yeah, you did miss something. You're crazy! absolutly nuts. WTF are you talking about??!?!?! Hmm?

I'm high... way too high.

Re:I don't know much about CPU internals but (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013316)

It would seem to me, that a CPU's workload is roughly limited by the number of transistors it has multiplied by it's MHz speed.

The number of transistors can go up for a variety of reasons. Chief among them is designs that utilize complex performance enhancements. To name a few:

  • Superscalar processing
  • Branch prediction
  • Hyperthreading
  • Out of order instructions
  • Pipelining


The secondary source of transistor usage is coprocessors like Floating Point Units and SIMD Units.

The latest craze in processor design is to simplify the microprocessor back down to the most basic level. From there, the processors are ramped up through shear numbers of parallel pipelines (i.e. threads) and cores as opposed to ramping up the individual CPU horsepower. These multi-core chips typically share coprocessors among a pipelines or cores, and may even have entire cores dedictated to specific tasks like SIMD. As a result, a properly designed program will be able to execute within a very short period of time, thanks to the parallel nature of the multi-core architecture.

Now the only problem is in finding these "properly written programs".

Re:I don't know much about CPU internals but (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013397)

properly written programs

Almost.

Sooner or later you have to branch, or speculate, or go to main memory (or *gasp* I/O). So exploiting parallelism in arbitrary code is quite a challenge. Having worked on optimizing the linpack benchmark for a small "supercomputer" (64 CPUs) during college, it is quite a bit of work to decompose a problem this way.

However, the trend is not "well written" parallel apps, but rather parallel process scheduling: like antivirus + network stack + device drivers + MP3 player + excel + VNC + compiler... all getting their own processor core.

That's the future, baby.

Re:I don't know much about CPU internals but (1)

AndyG314 (760442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013356)

It really depends on what a "dual core" chip really is, if you have 720 little processors each with everything they could need, then your right the total processing power is not improved that much, but if you start to share bits between cores (Tomasutra (sp?) could tell you more on this) then you can start to reap big savings. By shavring multipliers, dividors etc... you can reap big savings. Every single core computer has a dividor, but how often does it use it? By sharing bits between multiple cores you can reduce the number of currently unused transistors and increase your overall throughput of instructions.

Re:I don't know much about CPU internals but (1)

A Commentor (459578) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013532)

I don't know much about CPU internals but
So if you don't know CPU internals, why make these statements:
It would seem to me, that a CPU's workload is roughly limited by the number of transistors it has multiplied by it's MHz speed.
- NO, number of transistors has nothing to do with it.
No matter how many cores one has, the transistor count should remain roughly the same for a 1-core, 2-core, 8-core chip of the same nm process and is limited by that process (90 nm in this case).
- NO, transistor count WILL increase with the increase of the number of cores.
I would suppose (but am not sure) extra cores reduce the number of transistors being idle at any one moment.
- NO, more transisters will be idle since each core will have it's own set of idle transistors to add to the total number of idle ones.
The downside would seem that each extra core reduces the capability to process highly sequential problems in favor of highly paralell problems.
- NO, not for the individual core, only if the cores are competing for shared resources such as the memory or some I/O bus.
I know extra cores are nice to an extent, but isn't there a point where the paralellized gains aren't worth reduction in individual core capability?
- Hardware-wise, NO, each core will have the same capabilities, although as stated above may have to compete with other cores for shared resources.
So these chips may be great for networks (routers, etcetera) but not so nice in desktops.
Are have I missed something completely?
- YES, totally.

A new beginning (2, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013209)

Now except for the MHZ/GHZ wars the new standard will be how many cores your processor has. By 2026 My PC has 2k cores while your PC has only 1.5k cores, Thus my PC is superior, It will be just a pointless as comparing PCs using MHZ/GHZ

No it isn't (1)

Cybert14 (952427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013444)

There are fundamental limits to speed, but not to multiple cores (well, quarks in the universe maybe). The speed race was due to laziness in writing multithreaded applications.

I'm not afraid of Vega (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013223)

The chip to really watch out for will be the M. Bison

Cost of Hardware Failure (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013246)

How well do these multi-core chips fail? Do they fail silently? Do they come crashing down if even a single core on them fails?

Are we putting too many eggs in one basket? I thought modular design was good.

Oh well, back to setting up Linux on old dell boxes. Maybe I will get a real server one day. *grin*

Re:Cost of Hardware Failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013320)

Do they fail silently?


No, they fail with a scream worthy of a little girl. You truly want to turn these things off at night because a CPU failure usually leads to you peeing the bed...

So True! (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013432)

because a CPU failure usually leads to you peeing the bed...

Especially if you are the sys/admin who did not order a spare X core chip or worse budget for the inevitable cost of ever replacing one or more of these behemoths!

extreme (3, Funny)

matt328 (916281) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013253)

If Intel's two cores are 'Extreme Edition' what should these be called? Ludicrous Edition? With a little sign by them saying 'Never Use'?

Trying to be humorous, not seriously comparing the two chips.

Re:extreme (1)

Tmack (593755) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013305)

Plaid edition...

tm

Re:extreme (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013489)

What's wrong col. Sanders......Chicken?"

Re:extreme (1)

reverend_rodger (879863) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013542)

Intel OMGWTFBBQ Edition

So what's the memory model? (4, Insightful)

Tired and Emotional (750842) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013284)

So what does the memory interconnect look like on this thing? They say its not NUMA but I see no mention of what it is.

There's no way you can feed that many processors over a single bus and if you've got symmetric access to a bunch of busses, that's one heck of a cross bar switch and I don't see that its any easier to program than NUMA. Instead of making sure data you need fast is local you have to make sure you load balance - that has to be harder much of the time.

stating the obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013291)

Insert obligatory, 'One core should be enough for anybody,' comment by ignorant Slashdotter.

The inquirer? (1)

TriZz (941893) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013292)

...next you'll be reporting that the processor will be produced by aliens who decended from clouds in the shape of Satan. The processor burned the world's fattest baby and melted his arm in half.

arm melting processors !!!! (1)

pdxguy (726066) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013336)

get 'em while they are hot!!!!

Re:The inquirer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013403)

Is that "Satan-shaped aliens" or "Satan-shaped clouds"?

"However... (0, Troll)

fak3r (917687) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013299)

reports show that Java still runs dog slow, even with the 768-way configuration."

Ah, the more things change, the more they stay the same!

Neat stuff. (3, Informative)

SoupIsGood Food (1179) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013325)

I'm not as impressed by the sillicon as I am by their product... it's a platform-agnostic application accellerator, designed to make Java apps (or any other VM app) optimized for multithreading go like stink. It does for processing power what a storage server does for disk space. Plug it into the network, and go... all it does is run a gajillion threads for the VM living on your general purpose servers. Each core probably isn't very powerful (altho they are 64bit RISC designs), but if you're in dire need of cramming as many lightweight transactions through as possible, lots and lots of little optimized processors are going to be more help than one or two big, fat general-purpose Opterons.

It's a very neat concept, and the careful wording ("virtual machine accellerator") indicates that they aren't tied to just Java... Azul's Compute Pool could be something future Parrot-lovers can use to sneak LAMP into places where Java rules all.

They're using some serious sillicon know-how to fuel an innovative and original product... gives me hope we aren't doomed to a wintel-only world, after all.

Memory interface (1)

karvind (833059) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013343)

Does anyone know how you keep all the cores busy ? What kind of ulta-high-bandwidth memory architecture do they use (not clear from architecture) ? What kind of cores are these ? In-order, simple 6-10 state pipleline or more complex ones ? And more importantly, what is the power consumption ?

So Which is Better? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013345)

So which is better? Vega, or IBM/Toshiba Cell Processor?

To clear up a few things (1)

Sgt_Astro (848840) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013350)

I've noticed a few people getting the numbers wrong already... 1. It is NOT 768 cores, it is 48 cores with 768 paths through them. 2. They never mention the die size so this processor could be significantly larger in terms of silicon than others. 3. Its score in 3DMark is INSANE, not Ludicrous.

Azul longevity (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013355)

Arn't these guys one day away from a Sun Lawsuit? Do they have the means to defend?

Unhappy Math (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013359)

768 Threads = 768 Memory Accesses.

Obligatory (1)

phekno (719662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013364)

Yeah, but will it run Linux?

Re:Obligatory (1)

hentaidan (933903) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013475)

Beat me by 11 minutes.

May you forever be condemned to run Windows Millenium Edition.

OK, but... (1)

behindthecamera (964294) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013377)

...what's the framerate for Quake when you run this baby?

Re:OK, but... (2, Informative)

DarthStrydre (685032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013523)

You meant that in jest... but this is the kind of parallelization required to run such things as Ray-traced applications or games in realtime (or at least jerky realtime - which is much better than several seconds watching each frame draw).

Refer to:
http://graphics.cs.uni-sb.de/~sidapohl/egoshooter/ [uni-sb.de]

and for a screenshot with multiple reflection:
http://graphics.cs.uni-sb.de/~sidapohl/egoshooter/ screenshots/mutlipleReflectiveSpheres.JPG [uni-sb.de]

Vega (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013471)

Why must I think of Tom's Diner every time I see Vega?? Damn you Suzanne !!

Re:Vega (2, Funny)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013600)

Funny I think leaking head gaskets and rust when ever I see Vega. I must be getting old.

Wow!... (1, Funny)

Illbay (700081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013490)

...imagine a Beowulf cluster of...

Ah, never mind.

Lawsuit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15013535)

Isn't Sun just a converesation away from a lawsuit with these guys? Are their pockets deep enough to defend? Does Sun have a case?

Points-of-Failure (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013536)

I hate this idea. Clustering - okay. But SMP? No way. The more CPUs - the more points-of-failure - and for SMP - that bring everything down.

Can you imagine the MTBF on a puppy like this?!

Now if were talking about two-by-n redundancy - (or something of the equiv.) - that's a whole other story - but now were not just talking CPUs - caches too.

But since that technology itself is more complicated than just copy-and-pasting a bunch of cores - I don't think that's the kind of think that can be "slapped-in" at the last minute - nevermind the software implications...

Doom 3 (1)

Mikya (901578) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013570)

The articles continues:
"with the added processing power of the Vega, Doom 3 is expected to run in excess if 20 FPS."

I'm still figuring this out... (1)

tlynch001 (917597) | more than 8 years ago | (#15013593)

If I say "Finally, Microsoft will run quickly" I score a 5, but if I say "Finally, Java will run quickly" I am a troll? I need to know because since I seem to be stuck in some sort of bad Karma spiral and need to get out.
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