Intel prepares six-core processors fairly soon but for what purpose?

Intel's Nehalem microarchitecture could bring a six-core processor faster than expected according to Betanews and this was confirmed by Pat Gelsinger, Intel's Senior Vice President.

At a recent technological briefing, Intel also announced that eight cores, 10 cores and 12 cores processors are scheduled to be released as and when needed.

As to when the 6-core processor Dunnington processor will appear could depend on how fast AMD, Intel's Nemesis, will be able to deliver its updated Opteron and how it will perform.

But the more important question, as Larry Dignan from Zdnet.com puts it is... What will we do with all these cores, especially given that software developers are just starting to scratch the surface of multicore computing.

Increasing a single-core processor speed by a few hundred Megahertz every few months was how "upgrades" were made until a couple of years ago; with the advent of multicore processing, this has now moved to adding more cores (or indeed processors) to the picture.

This will not necessarily mean that your software will run any faster or will indeed identify the other cores available.

For the first time in recent computing memory, we might find ourselves with so much more processing power that we don't know what to do with it; which incidentally will help AMD and Intel raise prices.

The bottom line, as Dignan puts it nicely, is that "It’s up to you to figure out what exactly you’ll do with more power."

Topics