While Tilera's forthcoming 100-core processors
threaten to set off fire alarms around the world, the company has finally brought out its more sensible 36-core variant. The 1.2GHz Tile-GX36 sips just 24 watts and is designed to be especially handy with short and sharp jobs like processing internet transactions. It's a reduced instruction set (RISC) chip, so it's less power hungry and cheaper than Intel's x86 silicon. It also sports 64-bit architecture, whereas rival ARM is set to remain 32-bit until 2014
. Then again, with Tilera lagging behind in terms of brand recognition and software support, a two-year head start might not be long enough.