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Intel Demos Single Chip with 48 Cores

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 69 comments

Intel's latest prototype could eventually see what you're doing while dancing in front of the monitor.

Intel announced that company researchers demonstrated an experimental, 48-core processor--dubbed the "single-chip cloud computer"--that will supposedly pave the way for future generations of processors. According to the company, the "concept chip" is aimed at scaling on-chip performance, communication, and power consumption. The new prototype also offers 10 to 20 times the processing engines found in today's Intel Core processors.

Despite its many cores, Intel says that the futuristic prototype chip will consume the same amount of energy as two standard household light bulbs thanks to newly invented power management techniques. Even more, Intel claims that the processor could eventually become sophisticated enough to let PCs use "vision" to interact with people.

"Imagine, for example, someday interacting with a computer for a virtual dance lesson or on-line shopping that uses a future laptop's 3-D camera and display to show you a "mirror" of yourself wearing the clothes you are interested in," the company said. "Twirl and turn and watch how the fabric drapes and how the color complements your skin tone. This kind of interaction could eliminate the need of keyboards, remote controls or joysticks for gaming. Some researchers believe computers may even be able to read brain waves, so simply thinking about a command, such as dictating words, would happen without speaking."

Intel also said that it deemed the prototype as the "single-chip cloud computer" because of its similarities with data centers organized in a group to create a "cloud" of computing. The prototype's 48 cores seemingly mimics the configuration of a cloud server system, however casts aside the physical distance and is reduced down to a piece of 45nm, high-k metal-gate silicon "about the size of a postage stamp."

To learn more about the prototype processor, head here.

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Top Comments
  • 48 Hide
    winner4455 , December 2, 2009 11:46 PM
    First we need to utilize 4 cores.
  • 31 Hide
    vabeachboy0 , December 3, 2009 12:06 AM
    first we need to utilize 64 bit software
  • 23 Hide
    tacoslave , December 3, 2009 2:16 AM
    gekko668AMD where art thou?



    pwning nvidia right now.
Other Comments
    Display all 69 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    vaskodogama , December 2, 2009 10:52 PM
    wow! finally some real A.I. soon? huh! not 2 years soon, at least 10-15 years.
  • -4 Hide
    AtuBrian , December 2, 2009 11:17 PM
    48 cores damn!
  • 10 Hide
    burnley14 , December 2, 2009 11:17 PM
    I'll take two please :) 
  • 14 Hide
    rippleyhakd , December 2, 2009 11:20 PM
    I see Skynet comming..
  • 5 Hide
    presidenteody , December 2, 2009 11:29 PM
    i suppose i should hold off on my next upgrade and wait for the 48 core cpu?
  • 1 Hide
    kittle , December 2, 2009 11:35 PM
    48 cores? very nice.

    I'll take one
  • 48 Hide
    winner4455 , December 2, 2009 11:46 PM
    First we need to utilize 4 cores.
  • 1 Hide
    HansVonOhain , December 2, 2009 11:49 PM
    0_0 That is just amazing....

    Imagine if you can do folding proteins on that thing, it is going to be like 200000PPD
  • 8 Hide
    opmopadop , December 2, 2009 11:52 PM
    I would be more interested in what Intel defines 'Cloud Computing' as. Microsoft's explination is like watching a politician on the news... Lots of words, not much said.
  • -3 Hide
    Dkz , December 3, 2009 12:05 AM
    I had a teacher last year who had these... "for fun" predictions about the future of hardware specially CPUs, he said that in few years (this happened 1 year ago) there will have invented a CPU that works as a computer network, with cores as work stations with their own IP address, I actually can't believe that he was almost right.... Being an Old man it's gonna be really fun guys! can you imagine.. all that free time with computers with this capabilities XD!
  • 31 Hide
    vabeachboy0 , December 3, 2009 12:06 AM
    first we need to utilize 64 bit software
  • 7 Hide
    megamanx00 , December 3, 2009 12:23 AM
    Before all of you get all excited, those cores are probably much simpler than those currently on the i7s, or even the AMD Phenom IIs. That said this is still pretty interesting, but we'll have to wait and see if anything comes from it, or if it ends up as revolutionary as the Itanium :p .
  • 0 Hide
    jawshoeaw , December 3, 2009 12:25 AM
    A.I. will never happen on x86 - it takes too much power. I read an estimate for simulating human brain on silicon would take output of an entire nuclear plant, i.e. hundreds of megawatts. Unless you ditch the whole ones and zeros modality and build your silicon more like a brain that is. Maybe the 48 cores is a bridge to this type of hybrid computing
  • 4 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , December 3, 2009 12:38 AM
    Galileo will never sail all the way around the world - it's too flat.
  • -2 Hide
    warmon6 , December 3, 2009 12:42 AM
    dang! 48 cores..... When will i be able to get one of those. :lol:  jk
  • -2 Hide
    Impulse Fire911 , December 3, 2009 12:44 AM
    now THAT is some fast word typing.
  • 3 Hide
    Shadow703793 , December 3, 2009 12:54 AM
    winner4455First we need to utilize 4 cores.

    Exactly! There's VERY FEW programs optimized for 4 cores, let alone 48 cores. Programming REALLY needs to catch up to hardware now (esp. considering i9 will be out soon).
  • 0 Hide
    QEFX , December 3, 2009 1:03 AM
    I wondered where Intel's Pentaflop chip project went to.
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