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If you build it, will they buy it? • Processors will be multicore • It’s the only way the chip companies know how to use all those transistors! (pesky Moore’s law) • But, does the average computer user need it? • Probably not – the average user probably already has way too much compute power! • But, nobody has ever looked smart predicting that computers are as powerful as they need to be…
Hetero vs. Homogeneous • The easy path to Multicore is simply tile some old cores you have sitting around • Old being the operative word • Intel says – “Don’t worry, if you’re burning too much power, you can just shut off most of the cores.” • Heterogeneous makes more sense! • Only turn things on when you need them • When does Multicore become System on Chip? • Already the m.o. for embedded stuff
Pick your apps carefully! • Hmmm… How about hardware for Ray Tracing? • Loads of completely independent threads • Read-only database • Write-only output to frame buffer • Woo Hoo! Tiling these processors might actually make sense • Beware the memory, pin, power, wire, etc. issues! • Just because it’s embarrassing doesn’t mean it’s easy!
How about Asynchrony? • I’m a member of a strange religion - the Asynchronous Systems cult • With lots of (heterogeneous?) cores on the same chip, how will they deal with communication, coordination, cooperation, contention, consumption, chronology? • How about asynchronous protocols? • Hmmm… It’s so crazy, it just might work!