Scottish scientists have built a 1,000-core processor, claiming it will run 20 times faster than today’s chips while using less power.
Dr. Wim Vanderbauwhede led a research team at the University of Glasgow to create the futuristic processor using a programmable chip called a field programmable gate array (FPGA).
Instead of the built-in circuitry of conventional desktop computer chips, these processors can be customized. So with some extremely clever programming, the research team was able to divide the processor into 1,000 cores, each capable of its own computation.
To give you some perspective, the fastest consumer processors such as Intel’s Core i7 top out at six cores. According to the Daily Mail, the 1,000-core processor processes 5 gigabytes data per second, and that’s “20 times faster than modern computers.”
The researchers gave each one of the cores its own dedicated memory, speeding it up even more. Remarkably, they were able to leverage all this extra speed and power without using more energy. Because they’re using those more energy-efficient FPGAs, Dr. Vanderbauwhede calls them “a greener option.”
Will we be seeing these processors in our laptops anytime soon? Not exactly. The team will present their research at a symposium next March, but according to Vanderbauwhede, “I believe these kinds of processors will only become more common and help to speed up computers even further over the next few years.” – via Mashable