A group of researchers have created a microprocessor with 1,000 cores which they say is capable of running 20 times the speed of current processors while also being less power demanding.
An international group of academics lead by Dr Wim Vanderbauwhede at the University of Glasgow made the 1000-core processor out of a field programmable gate array (FPGA). Traditional processors are specifically made using advanced manufacturing techniques where as the standard FPGA used by the researchers effectively has the design burned in like software.
“FPGAs are not used within standard computers because they are fairly difficult to program but their processing power is huge while their energy consumption is very small because they are so much quicker – so they are also a greener option,” said Dr Vanderbauwhede.
The team, which also includes academics from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, created an FPGA with 1,000 simple processors with their own dedicated memory and then used the chip to run an algorithm used in the MPEG video compression format.
The researchers found that the chip was able to process the data at five gigabytes a second which they said was 20 times faster than traditional processors.
The academics will present the research at the International Symposium on Applied Reconfigurable Computing in March 2010.