Intel has concluded its Developer Forum in San Francisco by outlining its vision for computing 10 years from now and detailing the technologies it is already working on to make the vision a reality.
The company's current dual-core processors are just the start of a broader move to stacking many cores onto a single processor die, the chip giant promised. Further reductions in the size of transistors will speed this process.
"There is no other way to get the increases in power we need without parallelism," said Justin Rattner, Intel senior fellow and director of the corporate technology group.
"The next stage is to go beyond two cores. By 2015 we will be talking about many tens of cores per die, maybe even hundreds of cores, supporting maybe thousands of instruction threads."
These increases in processing power will put extra strains on computer systems that will need to move large amounts of data around the system.
Rattner said that existing copper wires would not be up to the job, and that Intel's new silicon laser would increasingly be used instead. Memory chips would be stacked to give four or five times the performance of toady's systems.
The goal is to change the way human beings interact with technology, according to Intel. "Instead of the clunky user interfaces like keyboards used today we can have conversations with our technology devices," explained Rattner.
"We should get the machine to forgive our humanity a bit more, recognising that we make mistakes. It is much like Google [checking search spelling] today but expanded 100 times."
Rattner suggested that computers would monitor us in our homes, optimising housing conditions and encouraging us to live more efficiently. In old age these applications would include reminding householders about medicines and calling for help if an individual becomes incapacitated.
The goal for corporations is to make computers much more useful in business modelling so that companies could use software to explore future decisions before they are made.
"We envision an age where computing is less proscriptive and more predictive," said Rattner. "Something we're intrigued with is the ability to look into the future. We need modelling that allows us to run the clock forward in time and help business decisions."
He hoped that the platforms in 2015 could be used to create applications like real-time language translation, or a "Star Trek communicator", to encourage collaborative working and help users manage the huge amounts of data each of us will produce.
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