The processor will initially be available to researchers

72-core Intel chip brings supercomputer power to desktop PCs

Intel is reportedly working on a 72-core computer chip that it intends to release in a desktop computer.

The chip, which is part of the company’s Xeon Phi range, is typically used in supercomputers rather than commercially available machines.

According to a report from PC World: “A limited number of workstations will ship in the first half of next year from Intel, which will also control initial distribution.”

Charles Wuischpard, general manager at Intel’s supercomputing division, reportedly said that as usage expands he hopes PC makers and other partners will sign on to sell Xeon Phi desktops.

The workstations will initially be made available to researchers who don't have access to Xeon Phi-based supercomputers for complex scientific calculations.

They will be able to write and test code on the computer before deployment on supercomputers.

The resulting hardware will be able to compute single-precision calculations at a rate of eight teraflops, or double-precision calculations at over three teraflops.

The hardware will include 16GB of on-package MCDRAM memory, which offers five times more bandwidth than DDR4 memory, the most powerful type of DRAM currently available to consumers.

Intel also claims the stacked memory is five times more power efficient and three times denser than GDDR5, which is used on graphics cards.

A new report out today from Top500 has shown that China has tripled its number of supercomputers in just six months.

In comparison to the Xi Phi, the Tianhe-2, which is the most powerful computer in the world, has achieved a performance benchmark of 33.86 petaflops a second.

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