The concept of "Many-Core" and the obstacles to achieving it. Plus using silicon to boost wireless performance.
We were positioned in reserved seats ahead of a mass of academics and graduates and again treated to the company of Abel Weinrib (below) and his baby: “Platform 2015”. Yes, we were once more in something the Academic Forums love more than anything else: the far flung future!
In such a fast moving industry as IT, looking to the next couple of years is hard enough so predicting the next 10 is close to impossible. Abel talked about the need for “systems to self manage” and listed buzz terms such as “Identity”, “Trust” and “Vision”.
In fact, the IDF speech Riyad reported on in March (scaleability, Moore’s Law, etc) was in full flow. Weinrib once again repeating the company mantra: concentrate less on megahertz, more on extra cores. Four, eight, 16, 32, 64 and 128 core processors were talked about with a glee that suggested they were already here, but when I mentioned this to Weinrib he conceded dual core would likely be a sticking for the next 18 months.
Why do we need all this power? There followed a very cool video (of which the shot below does it little justice) showing once example. It demonstrated how these potentially huge processing resources can be harnessed to drag extra information out of low resolution photos and video. “Imagine being able to take a blurry cell phone pic and refine it on your computer, making it so sharp you could blow it up and hang it on your wall,” he said. “In the future there could be no such thing as a bad photograph. He neglected to go into how it would fix the age old problem of chopping someone’s head out of shot though!
Weinrib then dived into the future processors designs, citing wire-bonded dies (CPU/DRAM/Flash clasped one on top of the other) as the next step. Wafer Stacking (basically as with wireless bonding, except using a bonding material between the wafers like glue), and Die Stacking were heralded as the next gen and the next gen’s next gen! He also showed a video of the company’s first continuous silicon laser which was developed in February. This technology will be required to move data inside and between computers at the speed of light in these new arrangements.
As Weinrib was about to point out though, it’s not all sunshine and flowers in Many Core land…