Forrester Research analysts believe server processors will get 64 cores next year and that the same number of cores is expected in desktop processors by 2012. However, to fully take advantage of so many cores software makers will need to get ready:
While the era of multi-core computing is here, application development teams must embrace new programming approaches to reap the full performance and economic benefits of the new hardware. The new “multi-core programming” approach will combine multithreading and parallel/concurrent designs that allow simultaneous processing of threads and/or tasks by multiple cores. Concurrent computing is familiar to some app development professionals, but most have little or no experience with parallel computing, believe analysts of Forrester Research as well as specialists from Microsoft Corp.
“There is a worldwide shortage of people experienced in parallel computing experience, for sure. One of the collateral reasons is to raise awareness in the academic community, because that’s where the next generation of developers will come from,” said Dan Reed, director of scalable and multi-core computing at Microsoft.
Earlier this week Intel Corp. and Microsoft kicked off a program under which they would help to create two Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers (UPCRC), aimed at accelerating developments in mainstream parallel computing, for consumers and businesses in desktop and mobile computing.
“Application development professionals will need a strategy for adopting these new approaches, frameworks, and tools as they emerge, adapting the patterns and methods they use today, and evolving their application portfolios to ride the performance curve promised by Moore’s Law in the multi-core era,” analysts from Forrester Research indicated.