Intel announced over the weekend that Intel Xeon Phi is the new brand name for all future Intel Many Integrated Core Architecture (Intel MIC architecture) based products. Available by the end of 2012, the first generation of Intel Xeon Phi product family (coprocessors codenamed “Knights Corner”) will complement the existing Intel Xeon processor E5-2600/4600 product families and deliver new levels of performance for highly parallel workloads. While the first generation primarily targets high performance computing (HPC), future generations of Intel Xeon Phi products will also address enterprise datacenters and workstations. The first commercially available product from the Intel Xeon Phi product family is a coprocessor codenamed “Knights Corner” and it is shown below.
Made with Intel’s innovative 22nm, 3-D tri-gate transistors, the Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor, available in a PCIe form factor, contains more than 50 cores and a minimum of 8GB of GDDR5 memory. It also features 512b wide SIMD support that improves performance by enabling multiple data elements to be processed with a single instruction. Last year Intel showed a live demonstration of the single Knights Corner coprocessor delivering over 1 TeraFLOPs (1 trillion floating point operations per second) of double precision real life performance, as measured by DGEMM. At ISC’12 Intel demonstrated the same effective performance of more than 1 TeraFLOPs per node but measured by the industry standard benchmark Linpack (Rmax)1. By comparison, in 1997, it took more than 9000 Intel Pentium processors inside the ASCII RED* supercomputer to break the 1 TeraFLOPs barrier.