Azul Systems last week demonstrated a 48-core processor on a single chip. The company plans to ship the Vega 2 processor next year.Azul has a current appliance based on the first-generation Vega platform. The 11U-high Azul Compute Appliance 3840 consumes 2,700 watts of electricity. It is in use at Credit Suisse to support processing-intensive Java applications.Azul was one of Network World's 10 Start-ups to Watch in 2005.The Vega 2, which is intended for transaction processing and accelerating Java applications, doubles the number of cache-coherent cores available in the first-generation Vega processor. The company is relying on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to manufacture the chip.The 64-bit Vega 2 also moves to a 90-namometer process from the 130-nanometer manufacturing process, allowing it to have double the cores without changing the size of the chip.Although Azul isn't predicting the clock rate or power dissipation of the chip until 2007, it says that there will be a performance-per-watt increase over the existing Vega. Vega 2 has 812 million transistors.Vega 2 will allow Azul's server platform to scale to a 768-way system, each processor supporting a G-byte of memory. The first-generation Vega only scales to a 384-way machine with 256G bytes of memory.Azul's Compute Appliance 3840 starts at $100,000.