updated 02:20 pm EDT, Tue May 3, 2011
Adapteva to sell design for 4,000-core chips
Andreas Olofsson, the founder and CEO of a technology start up called Adapteva, hopes to create computer chips with unique circuitry that would be tailor made to solve specific mathematical problems. Olofsson envisions 64 of his company's specialized processors can fit on a typical cellphone chip and, thanks to future production methods, as many as 4,000 tiny cores. This compares to the maximum of 12 cores currently available in chips like AMD's Opteron line.
The design is also said to be ten times more energy-efficient than comparable designs from ARM. But despite the impressive claims, Adapteva isn't gunning to steal customers away from ARM, Intel, NVIDIA or AMD. It instead plans to license the design to other companies who would use it to supplement existing designs and speed up floating point calculations. These are key in facial recognition, speech recognition and calculations that require sifting through large volumes of data to find matching patterns.
Adapteva needed just $1.5 million to do its research and development since it was founded in 2008. It got the low price by using open source software that is free of charge and employs just four full-time engineers who've worked together for nearly a decade. [via The Wall Street Journal]