With all of the noise being made about multiple core CPU’s right now it is easy to forget that there is a massive development effort underway to bring developer tools to market so that the power of these new chips can be realized.
Octopiler is intended to become just such a compilerâ€”one that can take
in a sequential program that’s written to a unified memory model, and
output binaries that make efficient use of the massive, heterogeneous
system-on-a-chip that is the Cell Broadband Engine.
If we draw a line from where we are today with developer tools to where we need to be we can see an intersection point roughly in the space of fabric computing. We’ve been looking at fabric computing largely as a problem of writing to a cloud of servers when in fact it’s far more likely that developers will be writing to a cloud of processor cores, something current generation tools don’t handle very well.
There is likely another opportunity for startups in the area of debugging tools, which are currently not very easy to use in multicore processor implementations because of the prevalence of process abstaction. Another quality problem for multicore systems lies in concurrency, which by their very nature multicore processors are intended for.
Off the cuff I’d have to say that there is a strong sector play to be made in developer tools providing someone can get out of the gate with a tool that is targeted to developers working exclusively on new generation hardware platforms, whether they be PS3, Apple Core Duo, or Intel’s boxes.
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