Multicore Processors - What's the point?

IT-Guru Donald Knuth in an informIT interview on multicore processors:

I don’t want to duck your question entirely. I might as well flame a bit about my personal unhappiness with the current trend toward multicore architecture. To me, it looks more or less like the hardware designers have run out of ideas, and that they’re trying to pass the blame for the future demise of Moore’s Law to the software writers by giving us machines that work faster only on a few key benchmarks! I won’t be surprised at all if the whole multithreading idea turns out to be a flop, worse than the „Itanium” approach that was supposed to be so terrific—until it turned out that the wished-for compilers were basically impossible to write.

I know that important applications for parallelism exist—rendering graphics, breaking codes, scanning images, simulating physical and biological processes, etc. But all these applications require dedicated code and special-purpose techniques, which will need to be changed substantially every few years.
Even CNN Money covered the problem: A chip too far?. And Technology Review and Electronics Weekly raise the same topic: The challenge of writing software for programming general purpose computing applications is generally recognised in the scientific computing community as the biggest single unsolved, and perhaps unsolvable, computing problem. But keep on buying those expensive multi-core CPUs. AMD and Intel will thank you.

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[Sonntag, 20090329, 19:51 | permanent link | 0 Kommentar(e)

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„Leyrers Online Pamphlet“ ist die persönliche Website von mir, Martin Leyrer. Die hier veröffentlichten Beiträge spiegeln meine Ideen, Interessen, meinen Humor und fallweise auch mein Leben wider.
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