Intel shipping 48-core processor samples later this year

Intel has stated that it is ready to start shipping some of its experimental 48-core processors near the end the quarter. The sample CPUs will be mainly sent to academic institutions for research purposes and may never make it to retail channels, but PC World reports that several of its features could serve as a basis for features in future processors.

The x86 samples are clocked between 1.66Ghz and 1.88GHz, around the speed of their energy efficient Atom chips. Each core is said to be able to run separate operating systems and software, all acting in unison to behave like an individual computing node. One single processor contains four integrated DDR3 memory controllers and a separate L2 cache for each core. 

Intel has also worked to ensure efficient energy consumption in the chip: it consumes between 25 and 125 watts of power and can selectively shut down cores or alter the voltage and clock frequency. They also worked to implement all the controls within software, so that researchers can easily adjust the power output and running cores all within the OS. 

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41 Comments

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Wow Intel have really been quite impressive over the last few years! Processing power now is just getting insane!!

PeterUK said,
So...anyone still interested in the 6 core i7 980X?

Yes, because these processors aren't for public/retail consumption.

PeterUK said,
So...anyone still interested in the 6 core i7 980X?

Actually, i'm more interested in the future consumer version of the new 8 core Xeon 7000s.

Majesticmerc said,
Great news, but x86? I thought we were done with 32-bit processors (except for the Atom line)?

you did see how these were made specifically to be provided to research institutes right?

Also - x86 has a large number of benefits, one of which being the plethora of low level hardware compatibility available for it. In a situation like this, were everything's likely going to need to be built custom, giving them the last 20 years as a playground for bits instead of the last 3-4 has an added benefit.

Majesticmerc said,
Great news, but x86? I thought we were done with 32-bit processors (except for the Atom line)?

Last time I checked Atom CPUs were 64-bit x86 CPUs. You are confusing i386 with x86! There is no doubt in my mind these would be 64 bit chips.

smithy_dll said,

Last time I checked Atom CPUs were 64-bit x86 CPUs. You are confusing i386 with x86! There is no doubt in my mind these would be 64 bit chips.

believe me, you are on the one who is confused . And yes, the first atom chips were 32 bit.

Majesticmerc said,
Great news, but x86? I thought we were done with 32-bit processors (except for the Atom line)?

x86 is far from done, now that it's been extened with 64bit abilities, it's not going away as a arch anytime soon. Maybe in 20 or 30 years (and it's a big maybe) if we need 128bit processors they'll start from scratch with a new arch.

New architecture? You mean like Itanium, oh I've said too much. Just like how x86-64 is an addon to x86-32, is an extension to x86-16 is a hack to an 8 bit processor, x86 will too become a 128 bit processor when the time comes.

First atom's, don't confuse then with now otherwise we may as well talk about x86 still being the 8 bit 8008 processor. Currently produced, commercially available (to consumers) atoms are 64bit.

Wikipedia is quite clear on the matter x86 is
Bits 16-bit, 32-bit, and/or 64-bit

The Teej said,
Surely this is similar to a many-core setup currently found on Graphics cards?

Similar, but with a different archetecture at it's core, 48 standard CPUs, all capable of independently running unique full environments and accessing unique portions of memory is potentially a huge milestone... if the software's written to take advantage of it, and hardware is capable of meeting these needs.

The equivalent here, is that each one of these cores could basically run a full blown install of windows 7 without really breaking a sweat, and if you had the ram, with room to spare for other thigns running.

Basically? That's a LOT of processing power/bandwidth in a standard-sized chip.

Northgrove said,
I can't imagine 48 cores being very useful for consumer use.

I hope you don't rely on your imagination for your livelihood.
I think once the engineers and OS developers figure out multicore, your imagination won't play into the equation. Your devices will 'just work'. As your # of cores increase, your apps will 'work better'.

Edited by deadonthefloor, Apr 8 2010, 4:49pm :

Mekun said,
Will it run crysis 2!!

Of course it will since even consoles can. This time around that joke has lost any effect. Time to move on.

GP007 said,

Of course it will since even consoles can. This time around that joke has lost any effect. Time to move on.

Um computers still look better than any console.

Shiranui said,
Intel also announced that they were changing their name to "Cyberdyne Systems".

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate"... and now we know how

Shiranui said,
Intel also announced that they were changing their name to "Cyberdyne Systems".

**** We need to find Schwarzenegger before they do!

Shiranui said,
Intel also announced that they were changing their name to "Cyberdyne Systems".

Oh man

How funny/great would it have been if Intel announced this on April 1st along with that name change? They would've won best april fools for 2010.