While Intel has no plans to build 1,000-core chips, the creation of such chips is possible for supercomputers, according to one of the company's principal engineers, a recent ZDNet interview revealed. Employed at Intel's Microprocessor Technology Laboratory, Timothy Mattson believed the company's 48-core Terascale chips used in the Single-chip Cloud Computer (SCC) can offer the architecture for such a chip and Intel's factories can build one within about a decade.
Mattson went on to say there is no theoretical limit to the number of cores that can be used. But creating one is complicated, and depends on how much of the program can be parallelized and how much overhead and load-imbalance the program incurs, both reflected by Amdahl's law.
Whether Intel will eventually develop such a chip also relies on whether applications are found that require it and whether a market to buy them is out there. Intel is trying to find such applications, Mattson said. One such application could involve a computer that inputs natural language and visual cues like gestures and outputs a visual form from 3D models.
The market demand is also a reason why Intel's 48-core processor isn't in the company's product roadmap.
A 1,000-core chip was predicted by an Intel engineer as far back as the summer of 2008.