In the Pipeline: An Intel 48-Core Processor for Smartphones and Tablets
Intel is working on a 48-core processor for smartphones and tablets. The company's focus on this project is to find new ways to manage and use multiple cores in mobile devices. According to the project researchers, this massive multi-core CPU could be ready in five to ten years.
Currently, smartphones and tablets already feature multiple-core processors but a system with a 48-core CPU would change the mobile computing landscape forever. One major benefit of having multiple cores is the ability of the device to divide its different tasks among each core. Heavy computational tasks can be completed much more quickly. Such a device would be able to multitask more efficiently than current chips due to the constraints of sharing computing resources.
However, the Intel researchers were quick to add that changes in the operating systems as well as their applications are due, so that the software are able to take advantage of the multiple processor cores. The software would have to be made more parallel such that their computing requirements can be divided among the available CPU cores. Furthermore, by reducing the strain on a single core by spreading the workload among multiple parallel cores, it would make the overall processor more energy efficient.
The idea of a 48-core processor may seem like an exercise in excess but Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, said there simply is never a shortage of demand for processing power. According to the Intel researchers' timeline of five to ten years for the processor's availability, mobile devices may require such a processor for their computational requirements. According to Intel CTO, Mr. Justin Rattner, he believes that this 48-core chip would be available earlier than the researchers' 10-year prediction.