The yin and yang of chip design this week. At the hot chips conference in Stanford, Tilera talked about their 64 processor architecture. The company which has about $40 million in funding behind it is talking about hitting 1,000 processors by 2014. Of course it is not the number of processors on the chip as much as it is the ability to get data in and out of the cores that really benchmarks performance. Tilera has opted to skip traditional data bus structures in favor of a communications switch on each core. This makes a lot of sense and also makes Tilera well worth watching while chip giants such as Intel and AMD continue a much longer march to four and eight core chips
Meanwhile, at the embedded systems conference in Taiwan, VIA Technologies has introduced a 500 mHZ chip that runs within a 1 watt power envelope and idles down to one tenth of a watt. The x-86 compatible is aimed at embedded applications. No fan needed to keep this one cool. Another chip development worth watching.