Intel is moving us well into the future by showing off what it feels could well be the processor of tomorrow. It’s 48-core processor doesn’t have a codename for now, but it’s been dubbed by Intel the “single-chip cloud computer.”
Perhaps most interesting is that the prototype of the chip shown off, which boasts so very many cores that we can’t begin to guess at what they’ll call it (dual core and quad core don’t quite cut it), is that it should, when finished, only consume around the same amount of power as two standard light bulbs. This, we’re told, is thanks to some new power management arrangement Intel has been putting together.
It’s also curious to see just what Intel imagines the chip will see use for. From Intel’s own piece on its upcoming chip,
“Imagine, for example, someday interacting with a computer for a virtual dance lesson or on-line shopping that uses a future laptop’s 3D camera and display to show you a ‘mirror’ of yourself wearing the clothes you are interested in. Twirl and turn and watch how the fabric drapes and how the colour complements your skin tone. This kind of interaction would 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.”
Certainly, Intel paints a fairly pretty picture of the future, but we can’t help but wonder whether or not this 48-core beast will ever see production. Given the number of future technologies its describing for use with it, it’s clear that Intel doesn’t expect this to come along anytime soon…
One wonders what other processor breakthroughs will make something with 48-cores look a little hamfisted before then, if any. In the meantime, you can read all about Intel’s latest processor effort on Intel’s page for it.