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TILERA launches 512-core server for the cloud


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Back before cloud computing became a buzzword and quadcore became mainstream, fabless semiconductor startup Tilera launched its initial attempt to redo the RISC revolution with a 64-core processor that put an unprecedented amount of hardware under the control of the compiler. The original Tile64 was based on MIT's RAW project, and the basic idea behind it was to use an on-chip mesh network and a grid of lightweight cores to boost CPU performance—wire delays from hopping between cores are exposed to a compiler for scheduling purposes.

Never having seen a set of third-party benchmarks for a Tilera CPU, I can't really speak to the company's success in boosting CPU performance, but it has now repackaged the many-core + mesh idea as a performance per watt play for cloud datacenters. In connection with this cloud push, Tilera and Quanta are announcing a new "cloud server," the S2Q, that packs 512 cores into just two rack units. This is considerably less space (and power) than the 512-core SeaMicro server announced last week but, despite having the same core count and target market, the two aren't necessarily directly comparable.

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