1,000 processors on a Xilinx FPGA
1/4/2011 7:55 AM EST
LONDON — Scientists at the University of Glasgow have created a 1,000-core computer processor based on a Xilinx field programmable gate array.
The researchers created 1,000 mini-circuits within the FPGA chip with each core working on its own instructions. The researchers then used the chip to process an algorithm which is central to MPEG decoding and was able to throughput data at a speed of five gigabytes per second: around 20 times faster than current top-end desktop computers.
Wim Vanderbauwhede of the University of Glasgow worked with colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Lowell on the project. The key to the speed up achieved was to give each core its own dedicated memory.
“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 Vanderbauwhede, in a statement.
Vanderbauwhede, is due to present his research at the International Symposium on Applied Reconfigurable Computing in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in March 2011.