Barney's Blog

Blog archive

Whadda Ya Do with 48 Cores?

Intel last week showed off a 48-core processor. That's the good news. Unfortunately, the chip giant has no plans to ship this puppy; it's for research only.

I'm excited about this breakthrough, but also a bit frustrated. With today's software, most of our extra cores remain idle because the programs are largely sequential -- not parallel. Microsoft, Intel and many others are now pushing parallel development. That means future software may take advantage of this enormous processing. For now, it's only specialized programs -- such as engineering, animation, rendering, video and design -- that are truly multicore-aware. Oh, and high-end gaming software!

Intel is arguing that this processor represents a cloud in a box. Forty-eight cores can support a serious app load, but imagine it being devoted to a single user!

Here's my question: We already have multicore processors. Add superfast graphical processing units and you can build a true desktop supercomputer for chump change. Are you in possession of such a beast? What could a supercomputer on every desk accomplish? Fire up whatever cores you got and educate me on harnessing high-horsepower hardware at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on December 07, 2009 at 11:53 AM


Featured

  • The 2019 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From the next major update to Windows 10 to the next generation of HoloLens, here's what's on tap from Microsoft this year.

  • Microsoft Delivers 'Light' September Security Patch Bundle

    Microsoft on Tuesday released September security patches for Windows and applications, addressing 85 vulnerabilities.

  • Satellite Partners Now Connect to Azure ExpressRoute Service

    Satellite partners are working with Microsoft to extend Azure ExpressRoute's private Internet connections to organizations in isolated regions.

  • Microsoft Ending Windows Analytics in January

    The Windows Analytics suite of Windows 10 upgrade utilities will "retire" on Jan. 31, 2020, with Desktop Analytics taking its place, Microsoft announced on Friday.

RCP Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.