We knew when Intel launched its quad-core Nehalem line-up that it had plans to pack even more cores into a single die and come the next IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (IISSCC) we'll get to see just that. Intel will be taking the opportunity to show off Octo-Core Xeon processors.
Being built on the Nehalem architecture, these CPUs benefit, unsurprisingly, not only from eight cores but the ability to execute two simultaneous threads on each - or 16 over the entire CPU. In a dual-socket solution, that would give a near-ridiculous 16 cores running an actually-ridiculous 32 concurrent threads.
The number of situation in which that kind of number crunching power would ever be needed are understandably limited. Although the potential power, and thus money, saving potential of consolidating a server array into one PC will no doubt be of much appeal.
Real-time ray tracing here we come!