A prototype Intel chip that currently contains 48 cores could eventually be transformed into a 1,000-core processor.
Indeed, according to Intel researcher Timothy Mattson, the architecture for the 48-core Single Chip Cloud Computer (SCC) is "arbitrarily scalable."
"This is an architecture that could, in principle, scale to 1,000 cores," Mattson explained at the Supercomputer 2010 conference in a statement quoted by IDG.
"[Because] I can just [simply] keep adding, adding, adding cores."
However, Mattson noted that after passing the 1,000 core mark, the diameter of the mesh - or on-chip network connecting the cores - would exceed optimal size parameters and negatively impact performance.
Nevertheless, Mattson emphasized that future progress in the microprocessor industry was contingent upon fitting more and more cores onto a single chip.
Additional information about Intel’s Single Chip Cloud Computer (SCC) can be found here.