Tuesday, August 21, 2007

64-Core Embedded Processor from Tilera Announced

ilera Corporation today launched the TILE64 processor, the first in a family of Tile Processor chips based on a revolutionary architecture that can scale to hundreds and even thousands of cores. The TILE64 processor contains 64 full-featured, programmable cores - each capable of running Linux - and delivers 10X the performance and 30X the performance-per-watt of the Intel dual-core Xeon, and 40X the performance of the leading Texas Instruments DSP. Initial target markets for the TILE64 processor include the embedded networking and digital multimedia markets.
The idea to create a two-dimensional array of small cores connected with a high-speed interface is not that new, but it was the basis for the TILE64 processor concept. Each of the 64 cores is somewhat self-sustained: it can launch Linux OS. Each core in this processor features 8KB L1 data cache, 8KB L1 instructions cache and 64KB L2 cache. It is typical that all this cache memory can be virtually turned into 5MB of shared L3 cache, if the software developers need it. These cores work at 600MHz, 750MHz and 900MHz frequencies, and the idling cores can switch to power-saving mode. The bandwidth of the interface between each core and the four ones next to it is 500Gbps. As a result, Tilera claims that one 64-core TILE64 processor is 10 times faster than the dual-core Xeon and 30 times better than Xeon in terms of performance-per-watt ratio.
In order to minimize total system power, cost and real estate, the TILE64 processor integrates four DDR2 memory controllers and a complete array of high speed I/O interfaces, including two 10 Gbps XAUI, two 10 Gbps PCIe, two 1 Gbps Ethernet RGMII, and a programmable flexible I/O interface to support interfaces such as compact flash and disk drives.
The TILE64 processor is ideally suited for high performance embedded system markets. In the networking and telecommunications areas, the TILE64 processor is designed into switches and security appliances to provide unmatched performance of up to 20 Gbps of L4-L7 services. In the digital video and multimedia market, the TILE64 delivers an unprecedented two streams of broadcast-quality, high-definition H.264-encode capability in a single chip, and more than ten streams of encode for high-definition video conferencing applications.
The TILE64 processor is available now in three different device variants based on frequency and I/O capabilities. Production pricing for the TILE64 family starts at $435 in 10K unit quantities. Tilera's roadmap also includes plans for a 36-core and a 120-core device. More information on Tilera and the TILE64 processor can be found on Tilera's new web site, also launched today, at www.tilera.com.

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