There are things we can't do more than speculate on, because of the absence of official information or other reasons, but our assumptions regarding the date of June 18 aren't likely to be proven false.
We'll list the facts first. For one, the next Top500 List of Supercomputers will be published
on Monday, June 18, 2012, at the 2012 International Supercomputing Conference in Hamburg, Germany.
The second fact is that Intel signed a deal with Cray
, back in April. For those unaware, Cray is essentially the big cheese in the HPC industry, having built the world's fastest supercomputers for over 50 years.
A third fact is that the Santa Clara, California-based CPU maker is expected to have the “Knights Corner” MIC (many integrated cores) architecture out by 2013
And now we get to the part where we make assumptions upon assumptions.
If we were to guess, we'd say that Intel probably won't launch a MIC product on Monday. This year was one of delays and we doubt Knights Corner would become the exception. That is to say, while it won’t be delayed, it isn't likely to come out much earlier than planned either.
The deal with Cray is relatively recent as well. The two companies are probably intent on combining Intel MIC with Cray's Aries interconnect, which transfers data over PCI Express. Still, they couldn't have done all that much just in two months.
Granted, even if the parallel architecture isn't ready yet, Intel should still power many of the systems on that list. Its Xeon
line of CPUs guarantees that much.
Nevertheless, if there is a real milestone to look forward to, we suspect it will emerge when the next Top500 list appears. Top500 is updated twice a year, so if Intel and Cray work particularly fast, they might blow the world away later this year.