Intel's scientists have developed a new processor with 80 cores. The chip has teraflop performance capabilities and uses under 100W, which is less than today's quad-core processors.
Since dual-core and quad-core chips were just introduced to the market in the past year, looking forward to an 80-core chip is a major departure from the expected natural progression in microprocessors.
"We're doing this as a test," Vara told InformationWeek. "Our scientists came up with all these different ideas and we needed to test them on a piece of silicon. We don't know if it works 'til we build one so we built it and then tested the heck out of it."
Vara says the 80-core chip uses less than 100 watts of energy; a dual-core chip uses 60 to 70 watts and a quad-core uses 105 to 130 watts. Of course the numbers for the 80-core chip could be affected by the fact that it's lacking some functionality, but Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, says it's still a significant accomplishment.
Enderle calls Intel's research project "revolutionary."