While we're just getting used to dual-cores and have our eyes on those upcoming quad-core chips, Japanese computer scientists at the University of Tokyo have built a 500MHz 512-core math co-processor chip that can perform up to 512 billion floating-point operations per second. The Grape DR chip is designed to fit on a PCI-X card and act as a secondary chip for the main CPU. The project, which has been ongoing since 1989, expects to reach two petaflops (that's two quadrillion, or 2,000,000,000,000,000) floating-point operations per second sometime around 2008. No doubt that Intel, which is planning on an 80-core processor by 2011, is watching this research very very closely.

[Via Channel Register]

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Japanese researchers build 512-core math coprocessor