Thursday, 19 April 2012

Where are my cores?

In 2005, the world's first multicore consumer CPUs became commercially available. In 2007, Intel introduced their first quad-core processors and predicted that the number of cores would continue doubling and reach 64 cores by 2011. The following graph shows this prediction and the actual number of cores that shipped on Intel's CPUs:

Interesting to see how big the discrepancy is now. We were supposed to get 64-core CPUs last year but, instead, the widest Intel CPUs shipping in Dell desktops today have just 6 cores and the widest Intel CPUs available have just 10 cores. After Larrabee and the SCC, Intel are now hyping a Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture but a consumer version has yet to materialise.

4 comments:

Dmitri said...

You are right, progress has slowed, but so has the pressure from software makers. A dual-core runs today's programs just fine. On the other hand, the number of GPU cores continues to grow, so if you need performance for scientific computing, now is the time to start using CUDA/GPU.NET/C++ AMP/whatever.

Brice Goglin said...

Intel ships 8-core Xeon E5 since march, and 10-core Xeon E7 since mid-2011.

Brice Goglin said...

And 8-core Nehalem EX since 2010.

Flying Frog Consultancy Ltd. said...

Very true, Brice. Thanks. Intel have been shipping slightly wider CPUs in rack servers. However, these figures are still far below the predictions.