Government // Mobile & Wireless
Commentary
4/8/2008
12:00 AM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
50%
50%

Software in a Multi-Core World

I spoke with John Fowler, Executive Vice President in charge of Systems at Sun, about the announcements Sun is making today. In summary, Sun is launching an update to its Niagra line of processors, which are capable of running 64 concurrent threads, and can be paired in systems to run 128 concurrent threads.

I spoke with John Fowler, Executive Vice President in charge of Systems at Sun, about the announcements Sun is making today. In summary, Sun is launching an update to its Niagra line of processors, which are capable of running 64 concurrent threads, and can be paired in systems to run 128 concurrent threads.

The processors use a combination of multi-core architecture, hyper-threading, and other sophisticated microprocessor design techniques (that are beyond this software person's understanding) to achieve this. You can find my write-up of this conversation here:

www.ddj.com/java/207100560

You can also find Sun's press release for the new processors, and systems built around them, here:

www.sun.com/aboutsun/pr/2008-04/sunflash.20080409.1.xml

 In terms of the impact this has on software, John raised two points that we should all consider:

  • One day soon, processor cores will become like memory; a commodity that we don't really need to focus on anymore. Creating multithreaded software with dozens dedicate worker threads will be common, and we won't need to worry about things like context-switching, or threads that go into tight loops, and so on, because so many processing cores will be available.
  • Mutli-thread capable processors will have the largest impact in the mobile device world, where cores can be dedicated to particular tasks such as power management, network communication, video, and so on. Imagine the capabilities that cell phones and PDAs will have when they have a 32-core (or more) processor running at their heart! 

Happy coding!

-EJB 

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest August 03, 2015
The networking industry agrees that software-defined networking is the way of the future. So where are all the deployments? We take a look at where SDN is being deployed and what's getting in the way of deployments.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Everyone wants a well-educated, successful workforce but just how do you get one? And what, precisely, do you think you can do with it? To answer those and other questions, George Colombo had a conversation with Elliott Masie, head of The MASIE Center, a Saratoga Springs, NY think tank focused on how organizations can support learning and knowledge within the workforce.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.