What will thousands of CPU cores unlock?

3 Jul 2008 - 5:20am
501 reads
Petteri Hiisilä

We have signals that Intel isn't going to settle with 8 or 16
processor cores and then revert back to let's-add-more-MHz contest.
They are going to add 32, 64, 128, 512, 1024 and 2048 cores per CPU.
(Reference: http://tinyurl.com/4pkslx) ... expect to see 8-core 500
Mhz Intel Atom processors for ten dollars each.

We have signals that at least Apple is trying to make it easier for
developers to use those cores. "Snow Leopard’s Grand Central Dispatch
does [...] packetizing tasks [processes] into Blocks and routing them
to available processing cores as efficiently as possible. It can also
manage the big picture for the whole system, adjusting how it balances
its tasks as the performance load increases." (Reference: http://tinyurl.com/62zluv)
... expect that Linux and others to do that too.

We know from history that so far people have found ways to utilize the
full capacity of their computing equipment. As one Slashdotter noted:
"What difference is it going to make? This is, IMHO, the wrong
question to be asking. Asking how current tasks will be optimized to
take advantage of future hardware makes the fundamental flawed
assumption that the current tasks will be what's considered important
once we have this kind of hardware." (Reference: http://tinyurl.com/5dryxk)

What would it unlock for You as an interaction designer, if you knew
that you had 100 times more CPU power in your mom's mobile phone and
desktop? Here's some food for thought: http://edge.org/3rd_culture/anderson08/anderson08_index.html


Petteri Hiisilä
palvelumuotoilija /
Senior Interaction Designer
iXDesign / +358505050123 /
petteri.hiisila at ixdesign.fi

"In this island, everything happens for a reason."
- John Locke, LOST

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