Industry Trends: Chip Makers Turn to Multicore Processors
Computer performance has been driven largely by decreasing the size of chips while increasing the number of transistors they contain. In accordance with Moore's law, this has caused chip speeds to rise and prices to drop. This ongoing trend has driven much of the computing industry for years. Manufacturers are building chips with multiple cooler-running, more energy-efficient processing cores instead of one increasingly powerful core. The multicore chips don't necessarily run as fast as the highest performing single-core models, but they improve overall performance by handling more work in parallel. Multicores are a way to extend Moore's law so that the user gets more performance out of a piece of silicon. Chip makers AMD, IBM, Intel, and Sun are now introducing multicore chips for servers, desktops, and laptops.