August 20, 2007 01:01 ET
Tilera Now Shipping the TILE64 Processor: the World's Highest Performance Embedded Processor
MIT Spin-Out Creates 64-Core Processor Based on Breakthrough "Mesh" Architecture With Innovative Multicore Software Programming Model
SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire - August 20, 2007) - HOT CHIPS 19, STANFORD UNIVERSITY - Tilera
Corporation today launched the TILE64™ processor, the first in a family
of Tile Processor™ chips based on a revolutionary architecture that can
scale to hundreds and even thousands of cores. The TILE64 processor
contains 64 full-featured, programmable cores -- each capable of running
Linux -- and delivers 10X the performance and 30X the performance-per-watt
of the Intel dual-core Xeon, and 40X the performance of the leading Texas
Instruments DSP*. Initial target markets for the TILE64 processor include
the embedded networking and digital multimedia markets.
Tilera was founded in 2004 to bring to market the MIT research of Dr. Anant
Agarwal, who first created the mesh-based multicore architecture in 1996.
The "Raw" project received multi-million dollar DARPA and National Science
Foundation grants and spawned the development of the first tiled multicore
processor prototype and associated multicore software in 2002. Backed by
this immense body of work, Tilera holds 40-plus patents pending and a
significant lead over other processor and DSP companies who are only now
recognizing a need to adopt a similar multicore approach. Tilera has a
dozen customers who are currently integrating the TILE64 processor into
products in the advanced networking and digital multimedia space.
"This is the first significant new development in chip architecture in a
decade," said Tilera President and C.E.O., Devesh Garg. "We developed this
new architecture because existing multicore technologies simply cannot
scale beyond a handful of cores. Moreover, customers have repeatedly
indicated that the current multicore software tools are very primitive
because they are based on single-processor-core models. We're introducing a
revolutionary hardware and software platform that has solved the
fundamental challenges associated with multicore scalability."
Tilera's iMesh™ Interconnect
Tilera's new architecture provides superior performance because it
eliminates the on-chip bus interconnect, a kind of centralized intersection
that information must flow through between cores within the chip, or before
it leaves the chip. As engineers have added more cores to chips, the bus
has created an information traffic jam because packets from these cores all
must travel to one central point, like a spoke-and-wheel traffic
intersection in an old city.
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 two-dimensional traffic system for packets, much
like the layout of a modern city's streets. Tilera's implementation of this
grid architecture is called iMesh (intelligent Mesh), and it incorporates a
number of patented innovations that enhance the performance and flexibility
of the mesh. Because the aggregate bandwidth is orders of magnitude greater
than a bus, and the distance between cores is shorter, the iMesh technology
can be leveraged to create grids as large or small as an application
requires, creating a "computing-by-the-yard" scalability, with breakthrough
performance and ultra-low power consumption.
The TILE64 Processor Specifications
Each of the 64 cores on the TILE64 processor is capable of running its own
operating system, such as Linux, and provides dramatically more compute
performance than any other competing multicore device. Each core is a
full-featured, general-purpose processor that includes L1 and L2 caches, as
well as an innovative distributed L3 cache. The cores are overlaid with the
iMesh network, which provides extremely low-latency, high bandwidth
communications between the cores, memory and the I/O.
In order to minimize total system power, cost and real estate, the TILE64
processor integrates four DDR2 memory controllers and a complete array of
high speed I/O interfaces, including 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 TILE64 processor is ideally suited for high performance embedded system
markets. In the networking and telecommunications areas, the TILE64
processor is designed into switches and security appliances to provide
unmatched performance of up to 20 Gbps of L4-L7 services. In the digital
video and multimedia market, the TILE64 delivers an unprecedented two
streams of broadcast-quality, high-definition H.264-encode capability in a
single chip, and more than ten streams of encode for high-definition video
The Multicore Development Environment™ (MDE)
The TILE64 processor is supported by the most robust set of software tools
ever designed for multicore processor technology. The toolset is based on
an industry-proven, open programming environment and adds advanced
multicore debugging and profiling techniques to accelerate developer
productivity and time to market.
The Tilera MDE includes a powerful Eclipse-based Integrated Development
Environment (IDE), an ANSI standard C compiler, a full-system simulation
model and a set of flexible command-line interfaces. The MDE also provides
innovative, graphically driven tools for debugging and profiling multicore
processors, and an application level library that provides lightweight
socket-like stream communication mechanisms. The TILE64 processor supports
this immense body of open source tools and applications with the standard
SMP Linux programming environment.
Pricing and Availability
The TILE64 processor is available now in three different device variants
based on frequency and I/O capabilities. Production pricing for the TILE64
family starts at $435 in 10K unit quantities. Tilera's roadmap also
includes plans for a 36-core and a 120-core device. More information on
Tilera and the TILE64 processor can be found on Tilera's new web site, also
launched today, at www.tilera.com.
Tilera Corporation is a fabless semiconductor company and the industry
leader in highly scalable multicore embedded processor design. Tilera's
processors are based on a new mesh architecture that scales to hundreds of
full-featured cores on a single chip. The distributed nature of Tilera's
revolutionary iMesh™ architecture provides an unprecedented combination
of performance, power efficiency and programming flexibility. Founded in
October 2004 and launched its first product, the 64-core TILE64 processor
in August 2007. Tilera is venture funded by Bessemer Venture Partners,
Walden International, Columbia Capital and VentureTech Alliance. The
company is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. and operates a research and
development facility in Westborough, Mass.