An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Anant Agarwal, MIT scientist, creates a 100 core breakthrough computer chip

Anant Agarwal: Creator of 100 core chip
After Vinod Dham, the father of Pentium chips, there is another Indian – Anant Agarwal – who is creating the next breakthrough in the world of computer chips. Anant, who is the Director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and also has his own commercial venture – called Tilera – is looking to create chips not just with 8, 16 or 32 cores, as we have currently. But chips with 100 cores.

That is a quantum leap for make more efficient servers with better power saving and performance. The 100 cores will be accomplished by assembling multiple cores into one single one.

The traditional “connecting bus” is replaced by a “switch” in new processor. According to Anant, “every processor has a switch and they all talk to each other like in a peer to peer network.”

The new chip technology with 64 cores has been tested on the Facebook by its engineers. It yielded 67% higher throughput as compared to the Intel’s Xeon and AMD’s Opteron chips. The new 100 core chips are slated to be shipped later this year.

Anant’s future plans?

Tilera’s future plans code named “Stratton” focus on improving memory, interface, I/O and instruction set. It will produce chips with cores ranging from 4 to 200 by 2013. Anant also leads a new MIT project code-named Angstrom, aimed at building exascale supercomputers.

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