Feature Article

October 31, 2012

Intel Project Envisions Future 48-Core Smartphones, Tablets

Intel researchers are currently working on a 48-core processor for smartphones and tablets. It may be early to announce this, however, as it could be five to 10 years before the product would be available to the public.

Still, the news is exciting – a smartphone with 48 cores would be so much more capable than the current devices with only two or four cores. The possibilities of such a device are simply astounding.

“This could really open up our concept of what is a computer,” said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst for Moor Insights and Strategy. “If we’re going to have this technology in five to ten years, we could finally do things that take way too much processing power today.”

Enric Herrero, one research scientist at Intel Labs in Barcelona commented on the project, explained, “Typically, a processor with one core would do jobs one after another. With multiple cores, they can divide the work among them.”

Herrero went on to explain that a phone with 48 cores could allow someone to encrypt an e-mail while simultaneously working on other power-intensive apps.

Such abilities could be done on a smartphone today, but the operations would drag significantly, due to sharing resources.

The basic idea behind the 48 core smartphone is that the energy that used to, for instance, watch a high-definition video, would be broken up and shared between the cores, assigning different cores to decode different frames of the video all at the same time.

The video would then load and play more seamlessly, and use much less energy to do so.

“The chip also can take the energy and split it up and distribute it between different applications,” said Tanausu Ramirez, another Intel research scientist on the project.

Intel’s CTO Justin Rattner said that “Having large numbers of cores to generate very high performance levels is the most energy-efficient way to deliver those performance levels.”

The implications of such research is exciting, despite the long wait-time before the product reaches the market.

Still, Rattner believes the device could potentially come to market “much sooner” than the 10-year prediction, assuring the impatient that in his opinion, “the desire to move to more natural interfaces to make the interaction much more human-like is really going to drive the computational requirements.”




Edited by Braden Becker


FOLLOW MobilityTechzone

Subscribe to MobilityTechzone eNews

MobilityTechzone eNews delivers the latest news impacting technology in the Wireless industry each week. Sign up to receive FREE breaking news today!
FREE eNewsletter