Scientists have created an ultra-fast 1,000 core computer processor which could speed up machines and make them greener. To do this, the scientists used a chip called a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) which like all microchips contains millions of transistors – the tiny on-off switches which’re the foundation of any electronic circuit.
FPGAs can be configured into specific circuits by the user, rather than their function being set at a factory, which enabled Dr Vanderbauwhede to divide up the transistors within the chip into small groups and ask each to perform a different task.
By creating more than 1,000 mini-circuits within the FPGA chip, the researchers effectively turned the chip into a 1,000-core processor – each core working on its own instructions.
The researchers then used the chip to process an algorithm which’s central to the MPEG movie format – used in YouTube videos – at a speed of five gigabytes per second, around 20 times faster than current top-end desktop computers.
Dr Vanderbauwhede hopes to present his research at the International Symposium on Applied Reconfigurable Computing in March next year.