29 Jun 2009
A visit to the neighborhood PC retail store provides ample proof that we are in the multicore era. The key differentiator among manufacturers today is the number of cores that they pack onto a single chip. The clock frequency of commodity processors has reached its limit, however, and is likely to stay below 4 GHz for years to come. As a result, adding cores is not synonymous with increasing computational power. To take full advantage of the performance enhancements offered by the new multicore hardware, a corresponding shift must take place in the software infrastructurea shift to parallel computing.