WaitState

Will technology ever catch up?

Hardware: Intel Builds 80-Core Chip

Posted by cascadehush on January 22, 2007

Intel Builds 80-Core Chip That Uses Less Power Than A Quad-Core – News by InformationWeek:

Researchers have built the prototype to study how best to make that many cores communicate with each other. They’re also studying new designs for cores and new architectural techniques

This is the crux of the matter. How do you get a bunch of cores talking to each other when the number of possible communications paths increases somewhat exponentially to the number of cores. This creates a diminishing return, with each additional core providing less of a performance benefit than the previous one. And how does one design operating systems and software to take advantage of them.

I simply don’t think that the software will be there in the timeframe that Intel are projecting for their hardware releases.

The Superscalar architecture of the Prescott Pentium 4 CPUs was somewhat a failure because software was simply not built the way Intel had hoped. Likewise I suspect that Intel is going to have to stop creating more and more cores per chip, because the operating systems will not exist that can manage them.

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