Thursday, November 1, 2012

Intel developing supercomputer-strength smartphone chip

One day a phone like this one could have a chip with 48 cores, according to Intel.
Intel researchers are developing a 48-core processor for smartphones and tablets, something that could potentially give users the capabilities of a supercomputer (or, at the very least, a mainstream PC) in their hands. According to a report from Computerworld, Intel researchers in Barcelona are "working on finding new ways to use and manage many cores in mobile devices." They expect such chips to be available in about 5 to 10 years, according to the report, which CNET confirmed with Intel for its legitimacy.
Today, smartphone and tablet chips typically top out at four cores (or five, if you count Nvidia's mini Tegra core). Intel's Atom chip, meanwhile, currently only has a single core.

But adding additional cores, Intel says, would allow a device to distribute tasks among the different parts of the chip, making the processor faster and more power-efficient.
For example, one core could encrypt an e-mail while another could run an app, an Intel researcher told Computerworld. Or some cores could run at higher speeds for better performance while others perform basic tasks at lower clock speeds to preserve battery life.

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