How Many Cores will be Available in the Future?

One of the baseline assumptions of Avian Computing Project is that the number of cores and processors available for a programming task will increase rapidly. Here’s an article published by ZDNet’s Nick Heath that supports that assumption.

Cracking the 1,000-Core Processor Power Challenge
ZDNet (05/21/13) Nick Heath

University researchers in the United Kingdom are working on solutions to the growing problem of power consumption as mainstream processors are expected to contain hundreds of cores in the near future. <<emphasis added>> Power consumption outpaces performance gains when additional cores are added to processors so that, for example, a 16-core processor in an average smartphone would cut the maximum battery life to three hours. In addition to mobile devices, data centers crammed with server clusters face mounting energy demands due to the rising number of cloud services.

Left unchecked, the power consumption issue within three processor generations will require central-processing unit (CPU) designs that use as little as 50 percent of their circuitry at one time, to restrict energy use and waste heat that would ruin the chip.

The University of Southampton is part of a group of universities and companies joining in the Power-efficient, Reliable, Many-core Embedded systems (PRiME) project to explore ways that processors, operating systems, and applications could be redesigned to enable CPUs to intelligently pair power consumption with specific applications. PRiME is studying a dynamic power management model in which processors work with the operating system kernel to shut down parts of cores or modify the CPU’s clock speed and voltage based on exact application needs.

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About AvianWriter

Microcomputing and I grew up around the same time (a long time ago). I've always been fascinated by parallel programming but always found it more difficult than it needed to be. After much consideration, the Avian Computing project was born. Oh yeah, and I like long walks on the beach.

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