iMesh – Countdown To The Singularity

When Intel first released it’s Core 2 family of processors, it was clearly a step in the right direction but not something that fundamentally altered the computing landscape. While the meshverse will ultimately require what used to be called supercomputer capabilities, having 2 or 4 computers on a chip is only a baby step. Earlier this year when Intel demonstrated an 80-core prototype as part of it’s TeraScale project, the future was becoming more clear, but Intel was talking several years out. Then in August, an MIT spin-off named Tilera started shipping a 64-core processor with an on-chip network called iMesh which they call a “sea change in the computing industry”.

In effect, the Tile64 has a mesh structure that’s similar to that of the Internet, a network in which there are many decentralized nodes. One reason the Internet is able to pass around data so quickly is that packets of information are sent through a vast network and can avoid traffic jams. If everyone’s e-mail had to go through a central server, there would undoubtedly be delays. Tilera’s microprocessor, says Agarwal, “is very much like the Internet on a chip.” And like the Internet, Tilera’s chip can be scaled up gracefully; it doesn’t need to be redesigned each time new cores are added.

… Intel will keep an eye on Tilera, as it does on many startups that are first to market with new technologies, to see how customers respond and which aspects of the technology could be improved. “We use companies like this to help us test the waters,” he says.

Technology Review: A New Design for Computer Chips

Not surprisingly other hardware vendors are reacting but more significantly, software developers are ramping up efforts to take advantage of the quantum leap in computing power emerging from the new massively multi-core computer chips. It’s really hard to overestimate the impact that software designed to take advantage of massively multi-core computer chips will have over the next 3-5 years. This dematerialization of computers marks the beginning the final march towards a future “strictly biological” humans won’t be able to comprehend.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] it’s multi-core approaches such as the Tile64 or FPGA-based approaches such as the OpenSPARC reported on recently, evidence of the […]

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