editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Netlogic Integrates Families

We looked at many-core processors recently, and one of the big issues with scaling up the processor count is memory access: if all of those cores need access to the same memory, then that bandwidth becomes the bottleneck. Which makes SMP with many cores very difficult without shared distributed memory structures.

Netlogic has just announced their XLP II family, following on the heels of their XLP processors that have been around for a while. XLP devices go up to 32 CPUs; XLP II goes up to 80 per device, clusterable to 640. And they explicitly claim SMP capability.

So I followed up with them to see how they manage to talk to memory fast enough to feed so many cores. And it bears saying that, assuming each core manages a different memory, it’s “only” 80 cores that have to vie for attention by a single memory manager. Their response was that they have plenty of headroom on their current 32-CPU devices, and the memory manager runs much faster on the new devices, so they believe that memory access will not get in the way.

As to running all 640 together, they have an inter-chip coherency interface to keep all processors and caches in sync. They have a tri-level caching system, although details aren’t available yet.

They are also claiming a “third-generation” inter-process messaging system to speed up the conversations that the CPUs will need to have with each other.

Above and beyond just the many-core aspects, they are also integrating a host of communication-related functions alongside, including their NETL7 knowledge-based processor, which we discussed recently.

Most technical details haven’t been made public, but there is more info on their press release.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Nov 20, 2018
Samtec’s full line of high speed interconnect products was on display and in demonstrations at Electronica 2018.  Focus products included high speed mezzanine high speed cable assemblies high speed backplane connectors active optical cable assemblies 28 G Product Demon...
Nov 20, 2018
In yesterday's post I gave the details of the TPU hardware from Cliff Young's keynote on the second day of the recent Linley Processor Conference. Today, I'll look at what Cliff said about software and co-design, creating both the hardware and the software as a...
Nov 14, 2018
  People of a certain age, who mindfully lived through the early microcomputer revolution during the first half of the 1970s, know about Bill Godbout. He was that guy who sent out crudely photocopied parts catalogs for all kinds of electronic components, sold from a Quon...
Nov 13, 2018
Podcast Interview with the authors of The Hitchhikers Guide to PCB Design eBook by Mike Beutow with PCB Chat....