Intel first disclosed it had built a prototype
80-core processor during last fall's Intel Developer Forum, when
CEO Paul Otellini
promised to deliver the chip within five years. The company's
researchers have several hurdles to overcome before PCs and servers come with
80-core processors—such as how to connect the chip to memory and
how to teach software developers to write programs for it—but the
research chip is an important step, Rattner said.
Intel shows off
CPUs capped out a few years ago, leaving companies like Intel and AMD with little recourse but to start stuffing boxes with
multiple CPUs. Dual and
qual-core systems are common now, even for home computers; how long until
the monster above hits the streets?
And it's not just the high end processors that are getting the multicore
treatment—even embedded processors are going
multicore (link via flutterby).
Progress keeps marching on, but software development hasn't, sadly. Very
few languages have parallelizing features, much less automatic
parallelization, and multi-threaded programming is still very
problematic, with very few languages having it built in.
So, where do we go from here? Well, for a start, some radical ideas
about programming languages for one thing …
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