Intel Reveals Teraflop Processor

A chip with 80 processing cores and capable of more than a trillion calculations per second (teraflop) has been unveiled by Intel. While it is not a commercial release it does pave the way to more powerful processors says the firm. The chip achieves the same performance as a machine 11 years ago that had 10,000 chips inside it.

In contrast, home computers currently have up to four core processors, while the PS3 uses seven. The challenge Intel faces, is programming a product that would instruct the cores to work in parallel with each other. Intel's chip uses less power than some current chips, drawing 62 watts, and the separate cores can power on and off independently.

There are already specialist chips with multiple cores - such as those used in router hardware and graphics cards - but Dr Mark Bull, at the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre, said multi-core chips were forcing a sea-change in the programming of desktop applications. "It's not too difficult to find two or four independent things you can do concurrently, finding 80 or more things is more difficult, especially for desktop applications. It is going to require quite a revolution in software programming."

View: BBC News

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