Intel announced it will ship a limited quantity of 48-core processors to research institutes by the end of this quarter. These chips are part of the company's terascale research project and will not be sold commercially. More info at PC World.
Development of the processor is part of Intel's terascale computing research program. A focus area of the program is to put more cores in a single processor to enable faster computing in devices ranging from mobiles to servers.
The 48-core chip operates at about the clock speed of Atom-based chips, said Christopher Anderson, an engineer with Intel Labs. Intel's latest Atom chips are power-efficient, are targeted at netbooks and small desktops, and run at clock speeds between 1.66GHz and 1.83GHz. The 48-core processor, built on a mesh architecture, could lead to a massive performance boost when all the chips communicate with each other, Anderson said.