Packing more computing engines onto a single piece of silicon has been the modus operandi for Intel and its rivals in recent years in the search for more powerful, but less power-hungry chips

At least in the lab, Intel researchers have taken things to the next level.

Intel said on Wednesday it has demonstrated a "concept chip" with 48 cores — the separate processing engines within a single computer chip — and plans to release about 100 of the new devices to researchers and industry partners in order to speed the development of software needed to take make gains in energy efficiency and performance.

Intel calls the new processor a "single-chip cloud computer" for its similarity to the huge data centers, or clouds, that use thousands of servers working in tandem to handle massive computing problems.

The chip won’t be ready for commercial production for years, but by creating a chip with dozens of cores, Intel will give partners the chance to start tackling some of the software and hardware challenges that the new technology creates.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.