Tilera made news last year when it put 64 cores, or computing brains, on a single chip. Now it figured out how to put 10,000 cores into a single server rack in a data center. And it has a huge new customer in Quanta, the Taiwanese company that makes computers that other vendors sell.

Tilera boasts that it will be able to put 100 cores on a single chip next year and 200 cores on a chip by 2013. That’s what is necessary to keep up with the demands of cloud computing, said Ihab Bishara, director of cloud computing products and marketing at Tilera in Santa Clara, Calif.

Much of computing is migrating from personal computers to web-connected servers in the so-called internet cloud.

As noted in our recent stories on SeaMicro and Advanced Micro Devices, these data center servers do lots of small tasks in parallel, rather than taking on huge tasks one at a time. That change lends itself to Tilera’s design, which is akin to lots of little ant brains teaming up together. Tilera’s TilePro64 processor is being used by Quanta to pack 512 cores in a 2U server that consumes less than 400 watts.

The company argues that it can replace 100 Intel-based servers with just 12 Tilera servers; with all of the resulting power and computing savings, Tilera estimates customers can save $75 million per data center. A single TilePro64 processor with 64 cores running at 50 watts can perform the same as a two-socket Intel Xeon 5500 processor running at 250 watts. Tilera ties together the cores on its chips using its iMesh technology, which makes it possible to feed data to lots of processors all at the same time.

Customers such as SGI are working with Tilera to create supercomputers that can be used in high-performance scientific computing, cloud, and government computing applications. The company will demonstrate the new S2Q server, developed with Quanta, at the GigaOm Structure 10 conference in San Francisco. Each S2Q server has 8 Tilera TilePro64 processors. It’s a building block for a large-scale cloud services data center. With 512 cores, the S2Q server can process up to1.3 trillion operations per second and transfer data at 176 gigabits per second, all the while consuming 35 watts to 50 watts per server core. Tilera says it can get 10,000 cores in one 8-kilowatt rack in a data center. The S2Q server will be available in September in limited quantities.

Tilera has raised $64 million to date and was founded in 2004. Its investors include NTT, Quanta, and Broadcom. It has more than 100 customers and there are 40 new designs in the works. Each TilePro chip sells for $900 in 200-unit quantities. Rivals include Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, nvidia, and SeaMicro, which announced its launch of servers with Intel Atom processors last week. Tilera also competes with Netlogic and Cavrium Networks.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.