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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