Chip company Adapteva has a crazy notion: Let’s turn our smartphones into veritable supercomputers. And the way to do it? Up the ante in processing power. Not with just dual-core or quad-core processors. No, their Epiphany IV chip has a monstrous 64 cores.
The Epiphany IV isn’t a system-on-a-chip like, say, the Apple A5 or even the new NVIDIA Kal-El chips. It can’t hold an operating system. Rather, it’s a co-processor that’ll work alongside the chips that already power our phones to provide up to now unheard of power. The idea is to accelerate and enhance processes like like gesture recognition and facial recognition, and perhaps create a few new experiences in the process.
Some perspective. The iPad’s A5 provides roughly 1.5 gigaflops — 1.5 billion floating point operations, a measure of its raw processing power. About as fast as the fastest computer in the world circa 1985. The Epiphany would pump it up to about 70 gigaflops. And it would do this while expending a watt of energy. That’s impressive.
According to Adapteva, mobile chip makers are already excited by the news. It’s just a matter of them taking a chance on the chip. [PC World]