Yesterday, during the SC11 super-computer conference in Seattle, Intel presented a processor with 50 cores. The processor is extremely powerful even compared to the most advanced Core i7 processor.
The processing power of the Knights Corner ( the codename of the new 50 cores processor ) is of 1 teraflop. To compare, the most powerful Core i7 processor from Intel has a processing power of 109 gigaflops.
Intel says that this is not a actual processor, it is a programmable processor with a role of co-processing.
Intel reached the 1 teraflop processing power for the first time in 1997 when they presented a system formed by 9.298 Intel Pentium II processors, and the super-computer occupied no less than 72 racks. Now, the new processor has the same power and the same dimensions as any other processor on the market.
The new Intel processor might become commercial, and might be used on personal computers in a few years, during which a software to handle a processor like this can be created.