Asia's growth to fuel multicore demand

Burgeoning markets and growth in business applications will spur the adoption of multicore processors in the region, says chip maker AMD.

Business growth in Asia will fuel the demand for multicore chips, but not all applications will need them for improved performance, according to AMD.

Speaking to ZDNet Asia at a media briefing last week, John Fruehe, worldwide business development manager for AMD's server and workstation division, noted that business growth requires companies to be nimble.

"They have to be able to change and grow quickly in order to keep up with the market, and so, having multicore [processors] make it much easier because the applications can scale to meet the needs [of the businesses]," he added.

Businesses on a tight budget and running multiple applications on a single server will also benefit "because you don't have the luxury of buying different servers", Fruehe said.

Regional demand will also be fueled by those companies that want to be on the cutting edge of technology.

"They don't want to have to replace their servers every year in order to keep pace with the growth of the market, and so for them, multicore processors give them a lot of scalability," Fruehe noted.

According to the AMD executive, multicore chips are being adopted across all industries in the region, particularly those that require greater performance to process multiple applications.

"It's less about the verticals and more about the applications," Fruehe noted. "The more multiple things are happening at the same time, the more they're going to be interested in multicore [processors], and that spans a wide range of verticals."

However, not all applications require multicore chips for better performance. One example is file and print sharing which, Fruehe noted, "is pretty much a serial process where you're just sending data back and forth".

"[And as such] multiple cores don't necessarily drive better performance for you," he added.

Virtualization benefits
William Wu, Intel Asia's regional platform marketing manager, told ZDNet Asia in a phone interview that using virtualization technology will enable all the multicore chips to be fully utilized.

"Multicore is the driving force behind virtualization, because with more and more cores in a CPU, you can do a lot more," Wu said, adding that Intel's recent interest in VMware affirms the importance of virtualization technology to multicore chips.

In July, Intel invested US$218.5 million into virtualization specialist VMware.

The chip maker is rumored to be launching its new 45-nanometer Penryn server processors in November, while AMD's first 65-nanometer quad-core server chip, the much-delayed Barcelona, is expected to arrive in September.