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Intel Demos 48-Core Cloud Computing Chip At Cebit

Semiconductor giant Intel has showed the prototype of a computer, at Cebit that has a processor with 48 cores and is fitted in a standard mid-sized ATX tower.

What was even more interesting is that the motherboard was in full sight, flooded by blue light and behind a clear perspex window. The customised board doesn't have any PCI slots and come with eight memory banks and appears to use a traditional HSF.

The concept chip apparently consumed a mere 75W during the demo and is not much bigger than top of the end processors out there.

Intel described the processor as a single-chip cloud computer (SCC) where all the cores are connected to each other using a so-called mesh interconnect which allows each core to run its own operating system or be used as part of a whole.

Putting it another way, it means that the Intel has manage to put a complete network into a chip, the only thing missing being the I/O and the other components.

Each of the core comes with its own L2 cache and the 2D mesh can support up to 256Gbps worth of bandwidth with a total addressable memory space of up to 64GB.

As the Inquirer - which has a great video (opens in new tab) showing the capabilities of the chip - puts it, it is a rendering farm on a chip.

Our Comments

Intel had released a microprocessor with 80-cores back in 2006 but they were not apparently fully fledged x86 IA processors but rather floating point accelerators. With AMD about to launch its own 12-core Magny Cours processor, hardware is about to get a little bit sexier.

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Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.