The Silicon Valley start-up Tilera has unveiled a powerful chip with 64 cores, or electronic brains that is getting widespread coverage today.
The Santa Clara, Calif. company’s product emerges after a decade of research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and improves performance by making use of a new way to connect its cores with a computer’s memory and improve the flow of data: It uses a mesh, or grid, of interconnected wires to line the cores to one another and in doing so avoids the traffic bottlenecks that can occur in multi-core processors.
The chips aren’t designed for PCs; rather they’re for video-processing hardware and networking devices. Tilera says it has about a dozen customers.
Tilera faces competition from Ambric, of Beaverton, Ore., which has a 344-processor chip based on a mesh design, and Stream Processors, of Sunnyvale, Calif., which has developed a chip with 80 specialized cores, called arithmetic logic units, arranged in 16 groups to allow data to move through the product at very high speed, Dow Jones notes (subscription required).
The company has raised $40 million from Bessemer Partners, Walden International and VTA, the venture arm of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. TSMC is manufacturing the chip.