New chip to make computers 'faster and greener'

29/12/2010

Machines could be set to become faster and more environmentally friendly following the creation of a new ultra-fast 1,000 core computer processor.

Computers were originally developed with just one core processor to read and execute instruction but over the years, machines with up to 16 cores have become more commonplace.

However, Dr Wim Vanderbauwhede from the University of Glasgow, along with colleagues from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, has created a processor which has more than 1,000 cores on a single chip.

Dr Vanderbauwhede explained that in order to create the chip, the team used a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) which contains millions of transistors – used as the basis of electronic circuits.

The scientists created more than 1,000 mini circuits within the FPGA chip, allowing each to perform a separate task.

"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," he commented.