Monday, July 16, 2007
Software wise, we're still in the mid-1980s it seems
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.
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 …