Monday, July 02, 2007

Clusters on a chip

Organizers of the annual Hot Interconnects conference know that on-chip interconnects will be one of the keys to the multi-core microprocessor battles between AMD, IBM, Intel and Sun, a point I made in a story last year. The August conference, now open for registration, has several sessions on the topic.

"It’s a new area of research. You can see a lot of techniques from supercomputers being used in multicore processors," said Fabrizio Petrini, a researcher from the Pacific Northwest Laboratory helping organize the event.

Indeed, Cray will present a tutorial on the Gemini interconnect based on HyperTransport it will use in its next generation supercomputers. "Gemini could be a major competitor for Infiniband in coming years," said Petrini.

Researchers from the University of Maryland and Columbia University will separately deliver papers on how they are baking system cluster concepts into silicon. An Intel microprocessor expert will deliver a keynote about on-die interconnects, and the topic is expected to come up in a Wednesday evening panel on the "multicore meltdown."

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