Why do we need many-core?

This entry was first posted by Yimin Zhang on the Research@Intel blog.

Now we are already in a Multi-core era, dual-core has become mainstream, and some people even have Quad-core CPUs in their desktop PC. But some people still are are not clear if, in the future more cores will benefit them, due to it seems that most of applications they care about have been reasonably fast in Dual-core or Quad-core. The below questions is often asked by people: Will future applications (especially desktop applications) need more cores? and what are those applications? Some people may say HPC, but other people will not be satisfied with the answer due to they are mainly concerning the applications on the PC, and normal people don’t need to run HPC applications on their desktop.

One saying is that “the best way to predict future is to invent it”, this is exactly the best strategy we answer these questions about future. Instead of just lieing on the bed dreaming about future applications, Intel researchers are actively working with academia to invent future applications for future multi-core and many-core in the last few years. These applicatoins are named RMS (recognition, mining, synthesis), and now it has a new name “Model based computing”.

As I see it, the commonality of these applications is large amount of data processing in short time or even realtime, some examples are synthesis of virtual world, or analyzing large amount of video data based on computer vision technques. Here at Intel China Research Center, we are actively conducting research on this. One of the important application field we are working on is media search/mining, that is doing content analysis of the media data and make it easy for people to use it. Through our research collaboration with academia in the last 3 years, we have developed some leading edge technology that can enable a wide area of applications even now?e.g. search, browsing, editing, summarization etc. We are working with our partners to deploy these technology to the market. It will be great that more and more people can join this effort to develop more applications for multi-core. We believe in the near future we will see less and less people bother to ask “why I need multi-core”, instead more and more people will ask “when can I get more cores to run my applications faster”. I believe that day is not far away. And we will be proud that we contributed to this.

I will co-teach a session “The Demand for Many Cores: Tera-scale Usage Models” at the coming IDF at Shanghai with my US colleague Dr. Jerry Bautista?which will give more details. Welcome to come join this session then. I’m glad to discuss with you more then.

Yimin Zhang is a research manager in the Architecture Research Lab in the Intel China Research Center lab in Beijing.

2 thoughts on “Why do we need many-core?

  1. how many cores do we need? how many do you got? I would really like to see an asymmetric system/cpu, we could start with a 2 socket system, one socket has a cpu with 2-4 cores, the second socket with as many cores that targeted at max overall throughput, the OS should sense which apps were done by second-rate coders, ie, don’t parallelize, and run on the appropriate proc, with some user input as well

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