Last updated
Tilera Corporation
Industry Semiconductor industry
FoundedOctober 2004;18 years ago (2004-10)
Founder Anant Agarwal, Devesh Garg, and Vijay K. Aggarwal
DefunctJuly 2014 (2014-07)
FateAcquired by EZchip Semiconductor
San Jose, California
Key people
Devesh Garg, President & CEO
Products Central processing units
OwnerPrivately funded
Website www.tilera.com

Tilera Corporation was a fabless semiconductor company focusing on manycore embedded processor design. The company shipped multiple processors in the TILE64, TILEPro64, and TILE-Gx lines.


After a series of company acquisitions, Tilera's intellectual property was eventually acquired by Nvidia (via EZChip, then Mellanox), which now ships BlueField products that descend from the Tilera designs. [1] [2]


In 1990, Anant Agarwal led a team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop scalable multi-processor system built out of large numbers of single chip processors. Alewife machines integrated both shared memory and user-level message passing for inter-node communications. [3]

In 1997, Agarwal proposed a follow-on project using a mesh technology to connect multiple cores. The follow-on project, named RAW, commenced in 1997, and was supported by DARPA/NSF's funding of tens of millions, resulting in the first 16-processor tiles multicore and proving the mesh and compiler technology.

Tilera was founded in October 2004, by Agarwal, Devesh Garg, and Vijay K. Aggarwal. Tilera launched its first product, the 64-core TILE64 processor, in August 2007. Tilera raised more than $100 million in venture funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, Walden International, Columbia Capital and VentureTech Alliance, with strategic investments from Broadcom, Quanta Computer and NTT. The company was headquartered in San Jose, California and operated a research and development facility in Westborough, Massachusetts, USA. It had Sales and Support Centers in Shenzhen China, Yokohama Japan, and Europe.

In July 2014, Tilera was acquired by EZchip Semiconductor, a company that develops high-performance multi-core network processors, for $130 million in cash. [4] EZchip was later acquired by Mellanox Technologies for $811 million. [1] Mellanox developed BlueField, integrating ARM cores with the mesh interconnect of TILE, but was acquired by Nvidia in 2019 for $6.9 billion. Nvidia continues to ship BlueField products as of 2023.


Tilera's primary product family was the Tile CPU. Tile is a multicore design, with the cores communicating via a new mesh architecture, called iMesh, intended to scale to hundreds of cores on a single chip. The goal was to provide a high-performance CPU, with good power efficiency, and with greater flexibility than special-purpose processors such as DSPs. In October 2009, the company announced a new chip family TILE-Gx based on 40  nm technology that features up to 72 cores at 1.2 GHz. Other TILE-Gx family members include 9-, 16-, 36-core variants.

Their markets for this product announced in October 2011, included:

The 36-core general purpose CPU consumes approximately 35 watts at full load.

In October 2010, version 2.6.36 of the mainline Linux kernel added support for the Tilera architecture. [5]

Tilera also provided software development tools called the Multicore Development Environment (MDE) for Tile, and a line of boards built around the Tile processors.

The networking software company 6WIND provided high-performance packet processing software for the TilePro64 platform. [6]

On 25 July 2011, TilePro processor was found by Facebook to be three times more energy-efficient than Intel's x86, based on Facebook's experiments on servers using TilePro processor and Intel's x86. [7]

In November 2012, MikroTik became the first manufacturer to ship devices based on the Tile-GX processors, the product line is called Cloud Core Router. [8]

As of June 2018, the Linux kernel has dropped support for this architecture. [9] [10]

See also

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  1. 1 2 Trader, Tiffany (June 1, 2016). "Mellanox Spins EZchip/Tilera IP Into BlueField Networking Silicon". HPC Wire.
  2. "Nvidia outbids Intel to buy Israel's Mellanox in data centre push". Reuters. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2023.
  3. "Tilera: About Us". Tilera Corporation. 2009. Retrieved 26 October 2009.
  4. EZchip to Buy Tilera
  5. "1.1. Tilera architecture support", Linux 2.6.36 Release Notes
  6. http://www.6wind.com/wp-content/uploads/PDF/press/2011/6WIND-announces-availability-of-Tilera-TilePro64-support.pdf [ bare URL PDF ]
  7. Takahashi, Dean (25 July 2011). "Facebook study shows Tilera processors are four times more energy efficient". Venturebeat. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  8. http://cloudcorerouter.com Cloud Core Router product page
  9. Linus Torvalds (2018-06-03). "Linux 4.17 Release Notes". lkml.org. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  10. Arnd Bergmann (2018-03-09). "arch: remove tile port" . Retrieved 2021-04-06.