Intel pioneers 48-core processor

Prototype contains the most processor cores ever to appear on a single chip
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Intel has developed an experimental 48-core chip that is claimed to have 10 to 20 times the processing power of the current generation of Intel Core chips.

Intel says that the prototype rethinks many of the traditional approached to chip design, and plans to share at least 100 of the devices with various industry and academic sources in order to spur development of a viable software infrastructure.

As well as featuring more cores than have ever been squeezed on to a chip, the device also carries a newly invented power management system that enable the chip to run at 25 watts when idle and 125 watts while running at maximum performance.

Intel has given the new device the informal name of ‘single chip cloud computer’ due to its architectural resemblance to the organisation of cloud computing datacentres.

“With a chip like this, you could imagine a cloud datacenter of the future which will be an order of magnitude more energy efficient than what exists today, saving significant resources on space and power costs,” said Intel’s chief technology officer and head of Intel Labs, Justin Rattner.

“Over time, I expect these advanced concepts to find their way into mainstream devices, just as advanced automotive technology such as electronic engine control, air bags and anti-lock braking eventually found their way into all cars.”

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