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Intel Has a 48-Core Chip for Smartphones and Tablets

By - Source: Computerworld | B 49 comments

Intel has developed a prototype of a 48-core processor for smartphones. Before you ask: No, you can't buy a 48-core smartphone next year.

Intel apparently has the chip running in its labs in Barcelona, Spain and is reportedly capable of running different apps on different cores. Today, Intel's smartphone processor works with a single core and even the ARM rivals run with a measly four cores. 48 cores, of course, could open completely opportunities what a smartphone could accomplish.

A scientist from Intel's labs told Computerworld that such a processor could, "for instance, be encrypting an email while also working on other power-intensive apps at the same time." Or, in a dynamic environment, some cores could be running at higher clock speeds to provide high performance, while other cores could be performing basic tasks a much lower clock speeds and open the door to much more granular power saving techniques. The number of cores may not be so much of a problem than the fabric that is connecting the cores as well as the software that is managing such a chip.

Intel's CTO Justin Rattner was more optimistic about the introduction date of such a processor than the researcher himself, who predicted a 10-year time frame. Rattner told Computerworld that it could be "much sooner". According to the executive, techniques such as "speech recognition and augmented reality will push the need for more computational power."


 

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Top Comments
  • 46 Hide
    fuzzion , October 31, 2012 3:28 PM
    Did Tom just take a random pic of a mobo inside a PC casing ?? Or am I expected to carry that 48 core 10pound gorilla in my pocket?
  • 21 Hide
    rohitbaran , October 31, 2012 3:24 PM
    Too much power consumption I guess. If not, then good job Intel.
  • 15 Hide
    mavroxur , October 31, 2012 3:52 PM
    fuzzionDid Tom just take a random pic of a mobo inside a PC casing ?? Or am I expected to carry that 48 core 10pound gorilla in my pocket?



    More than likely they're emulating the new design in a FPGA of some sort for debugging / testing, hence the giant heatsink / fan and boatloads of support hardware.
Other Comments
    Display all 49 comments.
  • 21 Hide
    rohitbaran , October 31, 2012 3:24 PM
    Too much power consumption I guess. If not, then good job Intel.
  • 46 Hide
    fuzzion , October 31, 2012 3:28 PM
    Did Tom just take a random pic of a mobo inside a PC casing ?? Or am I expected to carry that 48 core 10pound gorilla in my pocket?
  • 2 Hide
    gilgamex , October 31, 2012 3:28 PM
    This might be a planned idea for a smaller node in the future, and building the prototype based on that, potentially 14nm.
  • 15 Hide
    ushyperion , October 31, 2012 3:46 PM
    48 cores for a phone, can't wait to see what they have for the pc in the future.
  • 15 Hide
    mavroxur , October 31, 2012 3:52 PM
    fuzzionDid Tom just take a random pic of a mobo inside a PC casing ?? Or am I expected to carry that 48 core 10pound gorilla in my pocket?



    More than likely they're emulating the new design in a FPGA of some sort for debugging / testing, hence the giant heatsink / fan and boatloads of support hardware.
  • 3 Hide
    officeguy , October 31, 2012 3:55 PM
    Cell phones has come a long way. From just taking and receiving calls and now a 48 core in a cell phone being tested. Not only that i can talk to friends on my cell, I can also have a meaningful conversation on the phone itself. It will be my new best friend.
  • 9 Hide
    dechy , October 31, 2012 3:56 PM
    I guess all that proding & poking ARM has been doing towards Intel might have just woken up a sleeping giant.
  • 2 Hide
    abraham_mammogram , October 31, 2012 4:00 PM
    As I understood it, high core count processors are inherently ineffective, due to the issue of data transfer between all of the cores taking a considerable amount of time. Would this problem be reduced if separate core "clusters" were working on different computational tasks, acting as independent units within the processor, as mentioned in the article? If so, would it not be easier to just include multi-processor smart phones, rather than one single 48 core phone?
  • 7 Hide
    CaedenV , October 31, 2012 4:12 PM
    fuzzionDid Tom just take a random pic of a mobo inside a PC casing ?? Or am I expected to carry that 48 core 10pound gorilla in my pocket?

    ... that could make for some akward moments in the office.
  • 2 Hide
    memadmax , October 31, 2012 4:19 PM
    Guys, the picture is obviously showing a testing rig.
    The processor itself is either underneath the small fan on the bottom(which may or may not be a south/northbridge chip) or it is sitting on a module that is on the bottom right hand corner of the picture.
    More than likely its on that module.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , October 31, 2012 4:25 PM
    ushyperion48 cores for a phone, can't wait to see what they have for the pc in the future.


    the cloud... i can honestly see home pc development stopping soonish to push cloud...
    i dont like that at all, but it will happen.
  • 1 Hide
    rantoc , October 31, 2012 4:34 PM
    alidanthe cloud... i can honestly see home pc development stopping soonish to push cloud...i dont like that at all, but it will happen.


    Yeah but unless the security is vastly improved it will die as well when it will be headline after headline that site after site is hacked and peoples knowledge involving having convenient data available 24/7 has its risks. The more eggs in one basket the bigger the risk it attracts the wrong attentions. Its simple math!
  • -1 Hide
    azraa , October 31, 2012 5:18 PM
    The title is misleading for uninformed people :/ 
    Yeah, I give props to any company cramming that many cores on a single die, its cool from an engineering point of view, but when it comes to performance, no smartphone or tablet OS is able to use that many cores. The limitation now lies on the software aspect.

    Until there is a way to HANDLE those cores, putting so many on a die is irrelevant, and a feat that has been reached before by both Intel and AMD.
  • 1 Hide
    clonazepam , October 31, 2012 5:36 PM
    So... yay, someday soon my android smartphone will have full encryption enabled, and record 1080p, instead of the now reduced 720p avail w/ encryption.

    Ok, got that out of the way, Cool!
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , October 31, 2012 5:38 PM
    rantocYeah but unless the security is vastly improved it will die as well when it will be headline after headline that site after site is hacked and peoples knowledge involving having convenient data available 24/7 has its risks. The more eggs in one basket the bigger the risk it attracts the wrong attentions. Its simple math!


    if you read the news, or watch ANYTHING on tv, you realise that normal people barely know how to breath they are so stupid.

    many people think a cellphone camera is good enough for important pictures

    and how many people use the earbuds that come with an ipod

    people dont care at all about quality anymore so long as it works.
    now, what is most peoples data?
    nothing important, sure the vulnerability feel will be there, but no one cares.

    soon enough computers will just be a streaming video box and we get all our processing power from renting it, because i would say 90% at least do noting but brows the internet and send email, possibly upload photos, but thats more of a cellphone thing now.
  • 1 Hide
    TeraMedia , October 31, 2012 5:39 PM
    So, Larrabee's a cell-phone wannabe. So what?

    Haven't system designers already figured out that heterogeneous processing power is more energy efficient? This achievement doesn't change that fact that it makes more sense from performance / power and work / energy perspectives to glue together a couple of GP-CPUs with an array of GPGPUs such as those in the GCN architecture. Intel must have been looking for a way to make headlines in the mobile space to distract from their poor efficiency.
  • 2 Hide
    hannibal , October 31, 2012 5:45 PM
    old news?
    http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/10/intels-48-core-processor-destined-for-science-ships-to-univers/

    Is this the new coming of Larrabee?
    http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/larrabee
  • 0 Hide
    mcd023 , October 31, 2012 5:56 PM
    Hello ThreadPool
  • 0 Hide
    bigdragon , October 31, 2012 6:31 PM
    I so want a 48 core computer. Yay for competition! ARM is making Intel wake up and start coming up with new stuff again.
  • 0 Hide
    nforce4max , October 31, 2012 6:44 PM
    Great I bet someone from the 80s had from since then thought that the "luggable" would make a return.

    Hey kids, today we got a 15lb "smart phone" so have fun.
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