Chip manufacturers are never short of innovation. After all, that is what keeps them in business. Intel is planning on its next beast of a chip, the Westmere EX featuring 10 cores while AMD plans to release the Bullldozer in reply featuring 16 cores per chip.
This has started a new battle between Intel and AMD. Earlier, it was about the total Gigahertz though now, it is about the number of cores. Both times though, AMD beats Intel. AMD processors are extremely flexible and Intel survives only because of its superior business model.
A new development that has been seen in this field is that the chip manufacturers are starting to take servers seriously and most of these high end releases are for servers. These new chips will be used to serve demands in cloud computing, high-performance computing and parallel processing.
Another chip manufacturer and startup Tilera, takes matters further by having a chip that can be extended to 64 cores and with further development, it is expected to serve 100 cores next year. SM10000 from Seamicro on the other hand takes matters further by allowing mobile support and allowing up to 512 cores.
This begins a new era of war between the numbers of cores and soon, the processing power will be sent to oblivion.