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."