2006: The year of dual core, virtualization, WiMax

2006: The year of dual core, virtualization, WiMax

Summary: With all the focus on dual- and multicore...

TOPICS: Tech Industry

With all the focus on dual- and multicore systems

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • Dual-core/ Multi-threads: What about software?

    With all the news and discussion about dual-core and multi-thread (Intel HT) capable processors, I have heard nothing recently about the present state of the software that runs on these processors. Sure, operating systems such as Win2K/XP, Linux, and Mac OS 10 can effectively use parallel processing hardware but what about the applications? Are they not more important? Does not the user sit in front of a computer and do one thing at a time? YES. Does a processor that can run two applications simultaneously help this user? Not much ... unless the application itself can also do two or more things at a time.

    I think a new metric that measures the multi-thread capability of applications will and should become a prime factor in selection of applications. Why, then, is this issue ignored in virtually every discussion I've seen lately?

    If this is because ALL applications are multi-thread enabeled, good, and thanks to whomever will make that statement. Without this confirmation, however, I am left to fear the worst. Can I find any mention of this metric on application product packaging? No. Vendor websites? No.

    Where are the wizards at ZDNet when we need them? Some applications cost more than the hardware they require and hopefully will last a lot longer. How does the consumer make an informed choice today without this metric in hand?

    I remember not so long ago when a major hospital spent major bucks to purchase a brand new multi-processor IBM machine to improve performance of its CICS-based SMS medical information system; only to discover too late that their old single processor machine performed just as well. Yes, CICS was (and I suppose still is) single-thread capable. Their new machine was twice as powerful as the old one ... because it contained two processors. Gotcha!!

    The metric I request may well be common knowledge to the cognoscenti and if so, how hard could it be to print it? If not, well, here is a great opportunity to scoop your competitors in the IT trade press community.