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At SIGGRAPH in L.A., Watching the Future of Computing Unfold

I’m at the SIGGRAPH 2008 conference in Los Angeles this week. My group, Intel Software Network, has a lot of cool stuff going on this week around the recent paper that was published on the Larrabee architecture.

I just put up a post on the ISN blog, about the history of SIGGRAPH and the ACM, and then waxing a bit philosophical about Larrabee and the future of computing as we know it:

I can’t shake the feeling that the Larrabee Architecture paper that was just published by the ACM, written mostly by Intel engineers, is one of those landmark events in computing. I’m really not trying to add to the hype that’s already surrounding Larrabee. There’s enough of that already. But it really is going to be a huge leap in computing. Imagine that in a couple of years, instead of having one, or two, or maybe four cores, your computer could have a Larrabee card with 24 or 32 (I’m guessing – this number isn’t final) programmable x86 cores that can be set to any task that benefits from massive parallelism (like, say, making that 3D game you’re playing look REALLY pretty and smooth), along with 8 “bigger” traditional Nehalem (I mean, Core i7) processor cores that do the things your current single or dual core processor does. Oh, and with Hyperthreading, all of those cores can run more than one thread, which makes them appear as even more “virtual” processors to the operating and software that use them.

How in the world are operating systems, applications, and games going to have to change to deal with this massive shift to many cores and many threads?

I’ll be posting more, and helping to get some videos of the cool stuff here at SIGGRAPH posted quickly to ISN’s video site, Take Five, so keep any eye out over there for any cool stuff I come across.

It’s things like this that make me love my job! :-)

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