Thursday, May 17, 2012

Slashdot Comment of the Day #4

A recent post on slashdot by jd entitled "CPU Competition Heating Up in 2012" gets excited about processors that are anticipated to be released this year, noting " with three new 'Aptiv-class' MIPS64 cores being circulated in soft form, a quad-core ARM A15, a Samsung ARM A9 variant, a seriously beefed-up 8-core Intel Itanium and AMD's mobile processors."

Along the lines of "Hey 32 nanometer, where's my 16 cores?", Taco Cowboy notes:
"Intel has been dragging its feet on releasing an 8-core i7 desktop CPU to the users.  It took merely 2 years to upgrade from uni-processor machine to a 4-core CPU, and then it stopped.  It has been 10 years and counting, and there is still no 8-core i7 desktop CPU."

Too right Taco Cowboy. What's more, it's been 15 years since the first affordable dual processor system (Dual Celeron 300a with modded slockets). Intel is the once and future king of serial processor performance, with AMD a distant second, so I suppose it comes as no surprise that Intel is de-emphasizing the role of parallel processing.

What's more, many slashdot readers correctly recognize that, instead of being "radically different", as jd claims, the anticipated processors are merely an evolutionary development of current architectures. (though, to be fair, radical new computer architectures are not easy to invent, let alone productize!). Sponge Bath notes:

"Evolutionary upgrades to intel processors and memory standards, titanium is not dead yet, AMD still can't keep up and ARM rules low power applications. Yes, it will be a landmark year for processors." </sarcasm>

To which TheRaven64 responds:

"I think the news is that MIPS is not dead, it's just pining for the fjords!"

Congratulations TheRaven64, you win Best Slashdot Comment of the Day #4!

1 comment:

  1. To be fair, Taco Boy, I should counter that going from uniprocessor to quad-core in 2 years was possible through a die shrink _and_ two dies in a single package - which allowed Intel to maintain a lead in core count for a very long time and inspired AMD to push quad processors (with their "4x4" systems) into the mainstream for a bit. That was a strange time, and definitely a short-term explosion in processing power on the desktop as Taco Boy notes.