Tilera launches two new speedy cloud processors, names new CEO

Tilera is announcing today it has launched new cloud computing processors with either 16 or 36 computing brains, or cores.

The company is also announcing that its founding chief executive, Devesh Garg, has rejoined the company as CEO. Garg served as CEO from 2004 to 2007. He moved back to India for personal reasons and became managing director Bessemer Venture Partners India fund. Omid Tahernia took Garg’s place in 2007 and is now stepping down and leaving the company.

Tilera is launching its Tile-Gx36 and Tile Gx-16 chips for cloud computing, networking, and multimedia applications. In contrast to Intel server chips, these chips have many more cores on a single chip (compared to two to four for most Intel chips), Tilera puts anywhere from 16 to 100 cores on a chip, all of them connected through high-speed networking. The result is a blazing-fast chip that is also power efficient.

“The strides that Tilera has made during my time abroad have been amazing; I’m returning to the helm at an excellent time and with strong tailwind,” says Garg.  “Tilera has great design wins and a family of processors coming out that beats the competition by miles.”

Bob Doud, director of marketing at San Jose, Calif.-based Tilera, said in an interview that Tilera has 20 wins with customers who plan to design the chip into their systems, and Tilera is engaged in discussions with as many as 80 customers altogether. Two customers that plan to use the processors are Harmonic and Mercury Computer Systems.

Shipping in small quantities since September, the new 40-nanometer chips are now available in large quantities.

In terms of networking performance, a single Tile-Gx36 can deliver more than 40 gigabits per second of L2/L3 networking while using less than 25 watts of power.

In this market, the company competes with Cavium, Broadcom and NetLogic. Intel is also a rival across Tilera’s markets. Tilera is also targeting its chips at multimedia markets such as transcoding video from one format to another. Doud said that a Tilera Gx36 single-chip video conferencing solution can deliver twice the performance at half the power and a third of the cost of prior solutions that used nine custom chips, digital signal processors and microcontrollers.

Tilera also contends that a server based on one Tile Gx360 chip can provide better performance than an Intel Xeon (Sandy Bridge quad-core) chip and still use less than one fifth of the power and one eighth of the space.

Based on those characteristics, a server with 1,037 Tilera cores could save $411,192 on electrical power costs over four years compared to an Intel Xeon server with 1,096 cores, Doud said. It would also save $608,565 on cooling and infrastructure costs, for a total savings of $1.019 million.

Dod said that a number of new customers will be announced in the coming year. He said that Tilera has been able to launch a number of versions of the chip because it has been designed to be easily tested and validated.

“We can step and repeat and stitch together cores into new chips quite well,” Doud said.

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