Beginning next year, the major chip makers plan to begin offering multicore chips with 8, 12, or more cores.
Intels Dec. 2 demonstration of its experimental 48-core processor is the latest step by chip makers to increase the performance and efficiency of their products by growing the number of cores that can be put onto a single silicon chip. Other chip makers also are driving their core count up, from rival AMD, which is planning a 12-core processor in 2010, to IBM and Sun Microsystems. Intel is planning an eight-core "Nehalem EX" Xeon server processor for early 2010. Core count also is going up in graphics chips, which vendors like AMD and Nvidia are pushing more into mainstream computing.