Coming soon: 1,000-core PCs?

At the Supercomputing 2010 conference in New Orleans, Intel researcher Timothy Mattson showed off a demonstration 48-core processor (he labeled it a Single-Chip Cloud Computer), and he enthused that it could easily be scaled up more than 20 times.

“This is an architecture that could, in principle, scale to 1,000 cores,” Mattson told the crowds. “I can just keep adding, adding, adding cores.” But would a consumer automatically experience a vast boost in computing power from this superchip? Not really, said Rich Brown, a desktop computer analyst with CNET.

“A consumer would see no practical benefit today from a 1,000-core CPU,” Brown told FoxNews.com. “But it’s not inconceivable that that might change. To take advantage of that much simultaneous processing, a program would have to be written to support it.”