Tilera Debuts 64-Core TILE Processor

Silicon Valley start-up Tilera has launched a new processor called TILE64 that contains 64 programmable cores, each capable of running the open source Linux operating system.

TILE64 is the first in a family of TILE Processor chips that can supposedly scale to thousands of cores.

Tilera executives claim that TILE64 delivers 10X the performance of the Intel dual-core Xeon and 40X the performance of TI’s DSP.

Tilera’s CEO Devesh Garg argues that existing multicore technologies cannot scale beyong a handful of cores.

The highlight of the TILE architecture is the startup’s iMesh Interconnect, which replaces the traditional on-chip bus interconnect that can cause traffic jam because traffic from the cores must travel to one central point.

According to the folks at Tilera:

Tilera’s technology eliminates the bus by placing a communications switch on each processor core and arranging them in a grid fashion on the chip. This creates an efficient 2-dimensional traffic system for packets, much like the layout of a modern city’s streets.

iMesh network is essentially designed to provide extremely low-latency, high bandwidth communications between the cores, memory and the I/O. 

Each Tilera core is a general-purpose processor that includes L1 and L2 caches, as well as a distributed L3 cache.

To minimize total system power, cost and real estate, the TILE64 processor integrates four DDR2 memory controllers and high speed I/O interfaces that include two 10 Gbps XAUI, two 10 Gbps PCIe, two 1 Gbps Ethernet RGMII, and a programmable flexible I/O interface to support interfaces such as compact flash and disk drives. 

The brainchild of IIT Madras and MIT alumnus Anant Agarwal,  Santa Clara, California headquartered Tilera is targeting TILE64 initially at the embedded networking and digital multimedia markets such as video conferencing. 

A dozen unnamed customers are said to be integrating TILE64 into their networking and digital multimedia products.

Pricing for TILE64 starts at $435 in 10K quantities.

Tilera also has a 36-core and a 120-core processor on the way.

Tilera’s competitors include Beaverton, Oregon-based Ambric and Sunnyvale, California-based Stream Processors.

Bessemer Venture Partners, Walden International, Columbia Capital and VentureTech Alliance are backing Tilera.

For details on the Tilera technology, click here.

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