Chip designer Tachyum plans to assemble the first test kits for the 128-core Prodigy Universal Processor later this year. Eligible partners can pre-order the kits.

Tachyum introduced Prodigy at the Hot Chips show in 2018. The universal processor can handle both CPU and GPU tasks and can basically execute any type of machine code via binary translation. The company has high hopes for the processor, which is significantly faster than existing solutions from Intel and AMD, costs a third of the price, and consumes ten times less power.

They do not seem to be able to fully meet this last claim; The Prodigy T16128-AIX can draw up to 950 W of power. This is the flagship model with 128 cores, 5.7 GHz frequency, 64 PCIe 5.0 lanes and 16 DDR5 memory channels (up to 8TB RAM in total). The processor can reach speeds of 90 FP64 TFLOPS (90 trillion ‘floating point operations’ per second).

By comparison: AMD’s Instinct MI250X can handle up to 96 FP64 TFLOPS and uses ‘only’ 560 W of power. The biggest difference is that Instinct is a so-called “accelerator”: a GPU that speeds up the computing power of CPUs in supercomputers. But Tachyum’s Prodigy processor is an ‘all-in-one’ solution.

Prodigy Universal Processors series.

Prodigy is built on the VLIW architecture (‘very long instruction word’), but must also be able to execute x86, arm and risc instructions via software emulation. This emulation would result in a 30 to 40 percent speed loss, but Tachyum still hopes to be able to compete with Intel and AMD.

We’ll see to what extent Tachyum can meet expectations. All predictions so far are based on simulations. The first ‘real’ Prodigy chips will be produced in December. If all goes well, Tachyum wants to start mass production in the first half of 2023.

A test rig for Tachyum’s Prodigy CPU.

Sources: Tachyum, Tom’s Hardware

Source: Hardware Info

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