48-core tablets could be reality in less than a decade, says Intel

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Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is working on a 48-core processor designed for smartphones and tablets, according to a new report by Computerworld, who spoke to a couple of research scientists working at Intel Labs in Barcelona. And based on hints offered by the researchers, each core may function more like an independent processor than the two to six core chips used in laptops and desktops today.

According to Enric Herrero, a research scientist working on the 48-core processor, one aspect of the vision sees multiple cores working together to provide a smoother experience or to run multiple applications at the same time."With multiple cores, they can divide the work among them," Herrero said.

Spreading the work around multiple cores working simultaneously on different aspects of a project could use less energy compared to one core working at top capacity, according to Tanausu Ramirez, another research scientist working on the project.

As you may expect, the potential challenge is the ability of software to properly utilize multiple cores in parallel, which Herrero conceded is a more limiting factor. "We need to modify how operating systems and apps are developed, making them far more parallel. Now, [having] cores doesn't matter if I can't take advantage of it."

With five to 10 years before the technology is expected to hit the market, one can be hopeful that software tools and operating system will be ready--or at least far more capable, by then.

For more:
- check out this article at Computerworld

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