In an interview with Tom’s Hardware AMD’s CTO (Chief Technology Officer) Mark Papermaster is quoted as saying that he sees increasing numbers of cores as a way to continue to push overall CPU performance even as individual core speeds have struggled to progress.
On the subject of multi-core CPUs Papermaster views their capacity to progress as being tied to implementation.
‘I don’t see in the mainstream space any imminent barrier, and here’s why: It’s just a catch-up time for software to leverage the multi-core approach.
But we’re over that hurdle, now more and more applications can take advantage of multi-core and multi-threading’
This will be a familiar thread to PC gamers who, for as far back as when those original dual-cores rolled out of the billowing clouds of steam in the great iron and brass chip foundries around the turn of the century, lamented that software development wasn’t making much, if any, use of extra cores. Until quite recently the buying advice for a gaming CPU was that the core count shouldn’t matter as much as the speed. With the next generation of consoles rumoured to be packing eight core CPUs under their hoods we might be about to see a change in that status quo.
It’s easy to be sceptical about better use of multicore CPUs by games and other software, we’ve all been told that this particular technological breakthrough has been right around the corner for over a decade after all, but maybe this time it really will be different.