Still no timeline

By Scott Ferguson  |  Posted 2008-03-18 Print this article Print

What Intel and Microsoft did not announce is specifically when they expected that the industry would make this shift. While Intel is moving forward with delivering more cores on each new generation of chips, it was not clear from the announcement whether Microsoft is developing the compilers or a next-generation operating system that would make parallel computing easier.

Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, said he believes that Intel is facing competitive pressure from the likes of AMD and Nvidia as both companies are working to increase awareness of parallel computing and its ability to work with their processors.

"Intel is on the inexorable path toward many more cores, and they have already laid out the problem of how do you give employment to all those cores," Kay said.

"At one point, more than a year ago ... Intel told me that they were going to slow-roll their road map to a degree and that they were not going to bring all these cores out as fast as they were technically able because they couldn't figure out how to program for eight cores and that would be an inhibiter to adoption," Kay added. "They didn't want to have silicon lying around and no one using it."

The other obstacle, Kay said, is convincing enterprise buyers that they need to upgrade to systems that take full advantage of parallel computing. Some companies might worry that their older software will not work using servers and operating systems that have been maximized for parallel computing.

Marc Snir, professor of computer science at the University of Illinois, said he believes that getting programmers accustomed to parallel computing at the college level first is one way to bridge this gap.

"Every computer will be a parallel computer ... and we must bring democracy to parallel computing [and] make every programmer a parallel programmer," Snir said.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel