It looks like a group of researchers at UC Berkeley have come up with a rather unique way of solving the problem of getting supercomputers past the processing power / energy consumption barrier, with them now touting the possibility of using millions of low-power embedded microprocessors instead of conventional server processors. That tantalizing prospect has apparently already lead to a deal with Tensilica Inc, which will provide the Berkeley researchers with some of its Xtensa LX extensible processor cores to use as the "basic building blocks in a massively parallel system design." Ultimately, the researchers say they could one day build a massive supercomputer consisting of 20 million embedded microprocessors at a cost of $75 million, which they say would have a power consumption of less than 4 megawatts and a peak performance of 200 petaflops. That, they say, would be enough for it to create climate models at 1-kilometer scale or, as the researchers put it, more than 1,000 times more powerful than anything available today.
[Via TG Daily]