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December 3, 2009

Intel unveils prototype 48 core chip

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by Darren Allan

The boffins at Intel have been busy building a chip that packs 48 cores (yes, 48) onto a piece of silicon the size of a postage stamp.

It’s called the Single-chip Cloud Computer or SCC for short, and it will make your quad-core desktop feel quite inferior.

Intel has previously produced an 80 core processor (Polaris) in 2007, but unlike the SCC this wasn’t based on x86 architecture.

Polaris also had power issues, whereas the SCC uses innovative power management techniques that allow all 48 cores to operate at very efficient wattages, from 25 watts up to 125 watts when running flat out.

“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 Justin Rattner, Intel’s Chief Technology Officer.

“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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