Programmers Can't Keep Up With Ever-Faster Chips

Manycore chips could revolutionize computing -- if only software wasn't lagging behind
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Dec 17, 2007 3:15 PM CST
Microsoft Corporation Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie looks on at the Microsoft Interoperability Conclave in Bangalore, India, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Fast new microprocessor chips are outstripping the computer industry's ability to build software to take advantage of them. Some industry planners believe that software designed for new chips with many processors could make certain computing tasks 100 times faster. The problem: computer scientists haven't found an easy way to program such chips, reports the New York Times.

Microsoft, for instance, is working to expand its software's parallel computing, or capacity to split up tasks so the different parts can be processed simultaneously. Executives there believe parallel software will revolutionize personal computing. But others warn the industry is ill prepared to make fast advances in the field. “I’m skeptical until I see something that gives me some hope,” said one Microsoft Research fellow.