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Intel Corporation Message Board

  • att4glte att4glte Nov 24, 2012 3:43 PM Flag

    Intel 48 Core Smartphone Supercomputer

     

    Intel’s 48-core supercomputing smartphone CPU is less than a decade away

    By Grant Brunner on October 31, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Cell phones are rapidly growing ever more dominant as computing devices. Not only are they becoming vital parts of our everyday lives in the English-speaking western world, but also in developing nations around the globe. It’s clear that dumbphones are on the way out, and our current smartphones will look like dunces in the next decade.

    Intel has been working hard on an impressive 48-core mobile processor for a few years now, and it’s looking like it could be ready for prime time in a mere five-to-ten years — and inside of our mobile devices, not just servers. Computerworld has a fantastic story with direct quotes from Intel upper management and the actual research scientists working on making small and power efficient parallel computing a reality. Justin Rattner, Intel’s CTO, says “It’s just not practical to just take sound and pictures and send it up to the cloud and expect that some server is going to perform those tasks. So a lot of that will be pushed out to the client devices.” That really stands out as an ambitious goal that is worthy of consideration.

    Siri
    Immediately, services like Siri and mobile speech-to-text come to mind. Right now, every command you give to Siri involves a lot of interaction with Apple’s servers. Your voice command is sent via the network, processed by Apple’s servers, and returned to your device as text. Then, the servers grind and grind in hopes of understanding what you meant. If all of the planets are aligned properly, your command is executed a few seconds later. Sometimes, for whatever reason, Siri just spins and spins until it times out. If your iPhone had a true large-scale parallel processor, instead of few measly cores between the CPU and GPU, all of this could be done locally on your device. It wouldn’t even matter if you had cell service or not.

    Most impressively, these chips being developed are very power efficient. Back in 2009, Intel claimed that the processor uses about the same amount of power as two lightbulbs. In 2010, it was made public that the cores were clocked between 1.66GHz and 1.83Ghz, and are roughly on par with Atom-class chips. The individual cores themselves don’t have to be super computers, but the technology that allows them to work together in concert is what has massive potential. Sadly, Intel hasn’t given us a name or a specific architecture, but it would be fairly safe to assume that we’re talking about a mobile variant of the Xeon Phi/Knights Corner MIC.

    Encoding massive videos, always-on augmented reality, and large-scale multitasking are just some of the benefits we’ll see from technology like this 48-core parallel processor. Not only will our phones be able to power our traditional computing needs, but also tasks we’re not even dreaming about yet. In combination with an increased number of sensors and receivers in your device and the world around you, your phone could be controlling your HVAC, automatic shifting in your car, and creating a realistic 3D replica of your current environment all while you’re looking at cat pictures or composing an email.

    A decade is a long way away, and this is all still very much in development. This is a big shift in technology that could make our devices even more integrated in our lives, and we need to be on the look out for applications for this awesome amount of power we’ll have. It would seem that Sebastian’s dream of smartphones replacing every other PC form factor might be rather accurate.

    This topic is deleted.
 
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