Inside the New Multicore Processors RRS feed

  • Question

  • In an interview, AMD CTO Phil Hester, Rambus President and CEO Harold Hughes, and Peakstream CEO Neil Knox discussed multicore chips and multiple chips, with Hester observing that multicore applications did not start to emerge until two or three years ago, fueled somewhat by the gaming domain. He notes that there are increasing numbers of diverse, media-rich applications for the client space, which is leading to heterogeneous multicores. Knox points out that CPU companies are pushing multicore architectures, while Hester says in order to determine the optimal number of cores, "You have to look at the memory hierarchies and how you feed the cores as well as how many cores you have." Hester believes the transition to 65- and 45-nm processors for client machines will be accompanied by several types of applications. One type will exploit multiple cores, while another type will be multiple applications that run on individual cores. Knox says a balanced hardware architecture is critical to multicore, arguing that "The hardware companies have to embrace the software environment, whether it's power management or an easy way to develop applications for these multicore environments." Hester believes the exploitation of hardware capability will happen incrementally.
    Wednesday, April 18, 2007 7:38 AM