The dual-core chips that we’ve seen so far are, in fact, the third step in Intel’s quest for multi-core Nirvana. It was back when SMP was new that we saw the first glimpses of the benefit of having more than one processor in a system. Intel laid the ground work for dual-core chips with the introduction of Hyper Threading and then a few months ago we saw the introduction of the Pentium Extreme Edition, featuring two physical cores, as well as Hyper Threading support.
The slide above shows that the next step will be quad multi-core chips, followed by massively parallel CPUs potentially sporting hundreds of cores. With this in mind, we're looking at massively parallel computing environments, without the huge costs that used to be associated with such hardware.
Intel is still keen to push the concept of Moore’s law, and the company feels that we will continue to see the transistor counts in processors double every two years for the foreseeable future.
Looking at the slide above you can see that Intel envisions the continuance of Moore’s Law until at least 2018, by which time we’ll see processors sporting a mind boggling 256 billion transistors! What’s even more mind boggling is the fact the Intel believes that the manufacturing process will have been reduced to 8nm by this time. Of course this would require significant advancements in manufacturing technology and insulation methods, but I'm assuming that Intel has entire R&D teams working on this.
It was clear that there were going to be some important announcements about Intel’s multi-core strategy, but I was going to have to wait until IDF kicked off proper to find out. Check back soon for an update.