Markus Levy, President of the Multicore AssociationEmbedded.com, Jan 23 2006 (12:00 PM)
The introduction of mainstream dual-core processors signals a major shift in the 'shape' of all computing platforms. Previously, almost all embedded software could be written with the assumption that a single processor was the execution vehicle; and where multiple processors were involved, they were either relatively loosely-coupled and could be considered separately, or were collaborating in easily parallelized computations.
While dual-core machines will change this model somewhat, we can expect the number of cores to grow exponentially, roughly doubling with each processor generation. Furthermore, chips of the future can be expected to exhibit increasingly higher degrees of heterogeneity in terms of cores, interconnect, hardware acceleration, and memory hierarchies.
While the multiple cores provides the potential to process applications in parallel, the software picture becomes much more complex and the industry’s challenge will be figuring out how to efficiently harness this processing capability.
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