Intel is demonstrating a PC with a 48-core processor here at the CeBIT tradeshow, Hanover. The system is described as a single-chip cloud computer by Intel, which is showing off the 48-core chip as a proof of concept: it won't be available to buy any time soon, and it doesn't yet even run Windows, although it could run up to 48 different operating systems simultaneously, according to Intel.

The 48-core Intel PC was first announced in December last year, and is built into a standard - if rather gaudy - PC case. An Intel spokesman told PC Advisor that the concept chip is aimed at "scaling performance and power consumption" and that it should set the standard for "decades".

Intel demoed a live feed of each core's load and the power consumption of the chip. The manufacturer claims that the 48-core processor consumes "only as much electricity as two standard household light bulbs", and in the live test it was drawing around 75W.

All 48 cores are IA (Intel Architecture) enabled, which means that right now they can run standard x86 software. But Intel told us that in the future it intends to use the capabilities of the 48-core chip to push the creation of "new software applications" and "human-machine interfaces", where users utilise gestures and face movement to control the system, which can in turn 'see' them.

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