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Researchers Build World’s First 1,000-Processor Chip

You have heard of many-core processors before, but you probably haven't seen anything like this. 

A Microchip containing 1,000 independent programmable processors has been designed by a team at the University of California, Davis, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The energy-efficient “KiloCore” chip has a maximum computation rate of 1.78 trillion instructions per second and contains 621 million transistors. The KiloCore was presented at the 2016 Symposium on VLSI Technology and Circuits in Honolulu on June 16.

A whopping 1,000 cores -- extremely handy for very parallel tasks like encryption, crunching scientific data and encoding videos. And importantly, it's not just about performance. 

Thanks to its ability to shut down individual cores, the chip can handle 115 billion instructions per second while using 0.7W of power. That's enough that you could run it off of a lone AA battery, folks.

Mass production?
The university had IBM manufacture the chip on a relatively ancient 32-nanometer process when the industry's newest processors are usually made using a smaller, more efficient 14nm technique. However, it raises the possibility of many-core processors finding their way into many mobile devices. They're not universally helpful (many tasks are better-served by a few very fast cores), but they could save a lot of time when your laptop or phone would otherwise churn slowly.

Source: UC Davis

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