Intel has unveiled a prototype chip that packs 48 separate processing cores on to a chunk of silicon the size of a postage stamp.
The Single-chip Cloud Computer (SCC), as it is known, contains 1.3 billion transistors, the tiny on-off switches that underpin chip technology.
Each processing core could, in theory, run a separate operating system.
The chip has won the “cloud” name because it brings together the computing resources typically filling several racks in a data centre…
In a bid to keep power consumption down, the tiles making up the chip can be divided into islands of different sizes that run at separate voltages.
“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,” said Justin Rattner, Intel’s chief technology officer.
Intel said the SCC would be made officially available during the first half of 2010.
I don’t need one. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t care to be involved in developing appropriate uses for such a critter. Of course.