Developed at the University of Califonia in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Davis, the KiloCore microchip is the next big step in computer processing power. The microchip contains 1000 processors which means it can execute 1.78 trillion instructions per second and is so energy efficient that it can be powered by a single AA battery. KiloCore was first presented on June 16 at the VLSI Symposia, an international conference on semiconductor technology and circuits, in Honolulu.


Some computer systems, such as Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) use a Single-Instruction-Multiple-Data approach, meaning that although these systems have multiple processors, they are all directing their computational power to the same task. But the Multi-Core systems like the KiloCore chip, are made up of independently programmable processors, which can focus on separate tasks and even turn off if they are not needed.  This allows the processors to save power, and accomplish computational problems much more quickly than a single-thread processor. 

According to a UC Davis press release, the chip could be used in video processing, wireless coding and decoding, data encryption and other scientific applications.  Most notably, the chip could be incorporated into data centers to make record processors more energy efficient and faster. Bevan Baas, leader of the team behind KiloCore and a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC Davis, said that the KiloCore is the most energy-efficient multi-core ever produced.

“To the best of our knowledge, it is the world’s first 1,000-processor chip and it is the highest clock-rate processor ever designed in a university.” – Baas 

It would seem natural, in light of the KiloCore’s processing power and ability to save energy, that it would be immediately incorporated into widely used platforms such as mobile devices, personal computers, etc.

However, fully integrating the chip into current systems is unlikely as it would require software that is designed around a multi-core approach.  For now, it is far more likely that the chip will be used in scientific endeavors. With time and attention to the processing power of multi-core processors, we may see more personal computers and mobile devices being designed with multi-core functionality. Regardless, the KiloCore Chip is a huge step forward in what can be accomplished with computer processing. 

Featured Image Source – The Quint