I have a dual-core processor in my main PC, which is good, and will later this summer buy a new computer with a quad-core processor, which is better, but probably not something I would be able to take advantage of. But what would I do if I had 50-cores in my processor? Apart from pay more on my electricity bill obviously!
Well Intel have now unveiled the first 50-core chip, codenamed "Knights Corner". This 22 nanometer monster uses a new x86 core architecture and it's clearly not intended for your PC.
Before you get all disappointed, Windows isn't even optimised to use that many cores so they'd just sit idle. It's based on their now cancelled 48 core Larabee graphics processor and uses a grid of cores, all joined together by a network to keep the data flowing between each one at high speed and reducing the diminishing returns of multi-core processors . The final design has not been announced yet and it is likely that Intel is still working on it before it will make the processors available at a later point in time.
There's no release date yet but that doesn't mean they're resting on their laurels. Intel are already readying a developer kit to help programmers make the most of the multi-multi-core processing these chips are capable of.
The chip, revealed today by electronista, isn't tied to any particular software platform and will probably be in use in supercomputers in a few years crunching data on medical conditions and global warming.
Update: Intel showed a very early version of the Knights Corner processor in 2011. A year later, the company released documentation and open source software regarding the chip. Companies like Cray or ScaleMP are using the chip since mid-2012 for some of their products.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.