Developers need to prepare to write software for multi-core processing, Gartner has warned, following Intel’s announcement that it plans to launch a family of three such processors by late 2006.
Multi-core processors – such as the Pentium Extreme and Pentium D already released by Intel – improve the speed and efficiency of processing and save energy, but only applications that can run more than one task or thread in parallel can take advantage of them.
Gartner has warned application developers that they need to engage with multi-core technologies to ensure they reap the potential benefits they bring, or risk a decline in processing efficiency.
Brian Gammage, Gartner vice-president for research, said: “Not all software is geared for execution in a multi-core environment and to develop software that can take advantage of it will incur a cost. Failing to do so could even bring about a decline in efficiency.”
“It is essential that the development community is prepared to write code that efficiently uses multi-core processing. While there are more cores the processors still share the same number of pins and the interface to the bus is the same – it’s the same amount of system resources so calls on the system have to be much more efficient,” he added.