Computing took a leap forward when chipmakers started putting more than one core—or central brain—on a single chip. It was a way to make machines work harder even as they consumed less power. Just wait until a single chip can sport 80 cores.
The wait won’t be long. Chipmaking giant Intel (INTC) on Feb. 11 said it has successfully produced just such a chip, the size of a fingernail, capable of processing a mind-boggling 1 trillion calculations a second. The chip, which Intel claims is the fastest ever made, could start being used commercially in “in five years, if not sooner,” Intel Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner says.