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Where's My 10 Ghz PC?

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the don't-forget-the-flying-car dept.

Hardware 868

An anonymous reader writes "Based on decades of growth in CPU speeds, Santa was supposed to drop off my 10 Ghz PC a few weeks back, but all I got was this lousy 2 Ghz dual processor box -- like it's still 2001...oh please! Dr. Dobbs says the free ride is over, and we now have to come up with some concurrency, but all I have is dollars... What gives?"

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868 comments

Asymptotic (3, Interesting)

dsginter (104154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288247)

We've found the limits of silicon and hard drives and they are being approached asyptotically. Relax...

Re:Asymptotic (4, Insightful)

BrianHursey (738430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288304)

True we have found limits to materials hence we need to think out of the box and find new materials.

Re:Asymptotic (3, Funny)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288385)

Are you referring to some sort of paradigm shift or something?

Re:Asymptotic (4, Funny)

abigor (540274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288472)

Well, not unless he's able to leverage it, because it's impacting the story we have to tell.

Re:Asymptotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11288491)

Yeah, he needs to get pro-active about developing new synnergy!

Re:Asymptotic (5, Funny)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288493)

I think it's going to take a lot of imagineering to fully appreciate the tectonics of a potential paridigm shift.

Re:Asymptotic (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11288420)


-1, Idiotic Catch Phrase

Re:Asymptotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11288426)

Who is this "we" you are talking about? Are you working in semiconductor business?

Re:Asymptotic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11288421)

Try to approach this [pogmania.com].

Jappers rul0x0r!!

Re:Asymptotic (3, Informative)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288484)

Without a major breakthrough, which isn't something I'd bet on, I'll agree that we are very close to the limits of silicon based CPUs. Strained Silion and Silicon on Insulator are effective stop gaps, but multi-core and possibly switching to something like Gallium Arsenide are the most likely ways forward for greater processing power at the moment.

Hard drives however? Some of the areal densities that are working in R&D labs are significantly denser than what we have now and will allow for plenty of capacity growth if they can be mass produced cheaply enough. Sure, we're approaching a point where it's not going to be viable to go any further, but we're not going to arrive there for a while yet. There is also the option of making the platters sit closer together so you can fit more of them into a drive of course. If you really want or need >1TB on a single spindle then I think you'll need to wait just a few more years.

Heat is the problem (4, Insightful)

CPNABEND (742114) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288252)

Multi-processing is the way to go. We need to do that to help heat dissipation...

Re:Heat is the problem (5, Insightful)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288416)

The CPU spends as much as 75% of its time idle because its waiting patiently for the memory to give it something to do. With Systems only delivering information at a max of 1 Ghz and processors going up to almost 4 times as fast... Studies also show that they could in term be able to squeeze 20 Ghz out of wires as long as 20 inches (and only by 2010 will we be able to achieve that), but that would only be sufficient for the 32 nanometer generation of microships (and we're quite ahead of that)... So i think the future resides in optical connections within the motherboard, allowing processors to finally... well... process ;-)

Re:Heat is the problem (1)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288419)

Do you mean multi-core CPUs, multi-cpu board architectures, or both?

I've noticed that pretty much any RISC chip at this point is multi-core, or will be in the next year. I can only assume that the desktop PC will be headed in that direction as well in the next 18-24 months.

Re:Heat is the problem (1)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288500)

CPU heat wouldn't be a problem if they would just invent steam power hard drives. ;-)

We need a faster bus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11288258)

system buss, hard drives, etc too slow anyway

Re:We need a faster bus (5, Funny)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288477)

Maybe the guy who promised him a 10GHz PC was counting in binary ?

Well Moore's Law is not a law... (3, Informative)

zoobaby (583075) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288274)

It was just an observed trend. The trend is breaking, as far as retail availability, and thus we are not seeing our 10GHz rigs. (I believe that Moore's law is still trending fine in the labs.)

Re:Well Moore's Law is not a law... (4, Informative)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288349)

Moore's "law" has nothing to do with Hz.

From webopedia [webopedia.com]
(môrz lâ) (n.) The observation made in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future.

Leave Moore's law out of this, please (5, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288351)

Moore's law has nothing to do with processor frequency. It says that semi-conductor capacity doubles every 18 monthsm, not frequency. (With the corollary that there is no appreciable change in price). As we all know, semi-conductor capacity is roughly proportional to speed, so saying processor speeds double every 18 months is not quite wrong, just a little inaccurate. On the other hand, saying that we're not seeing 10 ghz processors, so Moore's law is broken is wrong.

Re:Leave Moore's law out of this, please (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288428)

>>On the other hand, saying that we're not seeing 10 ghz processors, so Moore's law is broken is wrong.

Um it's Moore's Theory? Theory's haven't been proven but are just observed & hypothetical states.

So Moore's theory is finally being broken down 3 decades later.

Re:Well Moore's Law is not a law... (1)

frankthechicken (607647) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288379)

Indeed, Moore's law is more concerned with the amount of transistors to be found on integrated circuits rather than the marketing drive of Intel and their need for speed and increasing GHZ.

Re:Well Moore's Law is not a law... (4, Insightful)

jj_johny (626460) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288482)

No, Moore's law was about price performance not about absolute performance. If you look at the cost of a PC it has consistently gotten better performance while decreasing in price. Nearer to the beginning of the PC revolution it was all performance inprovement and very little price drop. Then in the early 90s it was kind of balanced. Then the 2000 to 2004 was all about the machines getting cheaper with performance nudging along.

But now even you cheapest PC covers most users needs. So the CPU designers will continue to inovate but they will find that people will be able to keep their PCs and other electronics longer. Fundementally, the CPU business will start loosing steam and slow down. When people don't need to get new machines, they won't. The precieved premium for the high end products is getting less and less.

Engineering within limits brings great results (5, Insightful)

skrysakj (32108) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288275)

I remember the old days, when programmers nudged every
single bit of speed and capability out of the machines they had.
When computer engineers, faced with limits, still made magic
happen.

I hope this ushers that habit back into the profession. We have a lot of great technology, right now, let's find a better way to use it and make it more ubiquitous.

Re:Engineering within limits brings great results (1)

bustersnyvel (562862) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288331)

I remember the old days, when programmers nudged every single bit of speed and capability out of the machines they had. When computer engineers, faced with limits, still made magic happen.
Oh, how I long for those days!

This guy is trying to bring it back! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11288432)

Help him out! [tinyurl.com]

With the entrance of the "puppy-mill" programmers into the workforce, this guy has made it his mission to educate people on structured programming, its benefits, and the inherent beauty in coding styles. His pholosopy is " when I am solving a problem, I do not worry about the beauty of the solution, but if, after I am done, if the solution is not beautiful. it is invariably wrong!"

ARGH DIE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11288496)

Man, I'm just gonna redirect tinyurl.com to localhost, fuck this troll shit.

Re:Engineering within limits brings great results (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288441)

Those days are still with us. It just depends upon where you look.

If you follow the MS philosophy, you keep piling on features (and other stuff), and you make the users have to upgrade the machine to faster processors, more ram, faster disk drives, etc.

If you follow the Linux philosophy, you constantly strive to make the performance as best as possible, so that you *can* run it on older hardware.

Re:Engineering within limits brings great results (2, Funny)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288339)

So I can run four instances of CS and p0wn3d everyone in my single player, multi-character clan.
Viva la VM-Ware

Re:Engineering within limits brings great results (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11288407)

but without a higher number of mhz on my CPU how will my penis get larger?

Re:Engineering within limits brings great results (1)

the_rev_matt (239420) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288408)

I've been reading the stories on folklore.org, and it's truly amazing what they were doing with the very limited memory they had available to them. These days software shops assume the user has a 1.5Ghz machine and at least 512M of ram and a seperate GPU and video ram as well. Makes them value efficiency and graceful code far less, in my opinion.

Re:Engineering within limits brings great results (2, Insightful)

menkhaura (103150) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288479)

These days we have processors hundreds times faster than 5, 10 or 20 years ago, we have thousands times more memory than we had yore... But, do our apps feel faster?

I tend to believe that they don't value efficiency and graceful code at all.

Re:Engineering within limits brings great results (2, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288410)

I doubt it will go back that way, we are to the point that they can be sloppy and get a way with it.

The limits are high enough now to not care. Back in the old days the limits were low enough that it did make a difference...

Not only that but the skills that used to exist in the older days are dissapearing.. "dont need to know that stuff'..

Re:Engineering within limits brings great results (1)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288452)

Right now we've got another problem: the demand for software vastly outstrips the supply. Developers don't have the time or economic incentive to spend more time on software that already meets requirements.

Re:Engineering within limits brings great results (1)

isecore (132059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288469)

Amen to this.

I miss those days when you had 25 Mhz, and some wacky demo-coders were doing crazy stuff with it!

Future Crew, where have you gone?

Re:Engineering within limits brings great results (1)

blargorama (640312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288481)

Educational Sig: Referrer is spelled with two r's, not one. HTTP_REFERER has a typo. Ummm.... excuse me, but isn't referrer spelled with FOUR r's, not two?

Least of your worries (5, Funny)

dunsurfin (570404) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288283)

According to most predictions we were meant to be enjoying lives of leisure by this point - working a 5-hour week in the paperless office, and driving to work in our hovercars.

Re:Least of your worries (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288327)

To quote Avery Brooks from the ~5 year old IBM commercial, "It is the year 2000 and I was promised flying cars, where are the flying cars? Where? Where? Where?"

Re:Least of your worries (1)

DataCannibal (181369) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288329)

Hover cars ????

I expected a flying car, or a jet pack at the very least.

And you forgot Professor Nuclear Power: "...and in the future electricity will be so cheap it won't even show up on your meter"

There's something wrong with my fucking meter. as well

Re:Least of your worries (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288457)

"Too cheap to meter" turned out to have problems.

If something's too cheap to meter, how do you charge them for it?

Two birds, one stone (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288415)

> According to most predictions we were meant to be enjoying lives of leisure by this point - working a 5-hour week in the paperless office, and driving to work in our hovercars.

Judging from these pictures of the Intel retail boxed heatsink [impress.co.jp] for the Pentium 4 560J (3.6 GHz), by the time we get 10 GHz PCs, the hovercar problem will take care of itself.

Hardware resources and software design (2, Insightful)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288285)

Make a CPU ten times as fast, and software will usually find ten times as much to do (or, in some cases, will feel at liberty to do it ten times less efficiently)
I find that software designers often do not take resource limits seriously. Programming is tedious, hard work. The algorithms chosen *are* important, and in some cases you shouldn't simply reach into the API toolbox and use the third-party solutions. There is no substitute for knowing how to write your own sort routines, specialized linked lists, and binary trees.

Re:Hardware resources and software design (2)

Derkec (463377) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288353)

Right. But you also need to know when to write your own optimized software and when by using the API toolbox you won't cause much slowdown and will be able to deliver faster and cheaper.

I would also observe that programmer can be a lot of fun.

Re:Hardware resources and software design (1)

cmburns69 (169686) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288497)

I find that software designers often do not take resource limits seriously. Programming is tedious, hard work. The algorithms chosen *are* important, and in some cases you shouldn't simply reach into the API toolbox and use the third-party solutions. There is no substitute for knowing how to write your own sort routines, specialized linked lists, and binary trees.


When designing commercial software, there are basically 2 factors related to this: 1) Does the application really require bleeding-edge performance (extremely low resource usage) and 2) If we take the time to do it right and consequentially takes longer to bring to market, will a competitor gain an advantage?

The choice is highly dependent on the type of project you are developing. Optimized games and server products gain a marketplace advantage over their lesser-optimized brethren. But in most consumer markets, software has become a commodity and high performance isn't really a selling point. Nobody really wants to pay extra for a word-processor that can spell check twice as fast.

Re:Hardware resources and software design (1)

Steve Embalmer (783552) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288501)

The algorithms chosen *are* important, and in some cases you shouldn't simply reach into the API toolbox and use the third-party solutions

Here, here! That's exactly the reason why a technical degree is a plus: you are going to get practice with these techniques and algorithms--if it's a good school.

It'll still crash (0)

turtled (845180) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288286)

It'll still crash, just faster. how about having M$ catchup on the 2005 technology brfore jumping ahead?

And where is my Jetson's car! (2, Interesting)

Evil W1zard (832703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288289)

There will always be points where technology slows down because it invariably will have to go through some total redevelopment instead of just building upon current products (like what they will be doing with the space program.)

Re:And where is my Jetson's car! (0, Offtopic)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288361)

I don't trust drivers on two dimensions. 40k people in America die in auto accidents per year already.

Legal Tender (1, Funny)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288297)

we now have to come up with some concurrency, but all I have is dollars... What gives

CONcurrency is short for Confederate Currency. Your ancestors used the old notes to light cigars after the Civil War.

Then again, you might need to use laundered money. That's also called concurrency.

Re:Legal Tender (-1, Flamebait)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288396)

At least Johnny Reb's currency was honestly backed by GOLD!!!

You stupid Yanks must like being surripticiously robbed by the central bankers via interest rate manipulations and inflation! (Much like M$'s wasteful software robbing you of precious CPU cycles and storage space. Yeah, I said "M$", buddy!)

Harbinger of doom! (1)

Heftklammerdosierer! (846009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288301)

If the main processor can no longer be relied on to become continually faster to support perpetual feature bloat and inefficiency, how long until someone offers a FBPU?

Because we all know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11288311)

that clock speeds are the one true and accurate method of determining computing performance, so if the clock speed isn't faster, it must not be better.

Gee, thanks Intel Marketing Department.

Hooking a 10GHz CPU to a front side bus... (1)

BrakesForElves (806095) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288316)

...running nearly twenty times slower sounds a little like hooking a 1,200 horsepower supercharged nitromethane-burning Hemi to a set of bicycle tires. With either one, if you can't "hook it up", what's the point?

Re:Hooking a 10GHz CPU to a front side bus... (1)

slart42 (694765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288387)

I for one could imagine having a lot of fun with those 1200hp hemi-powered bicycle-tires :)

Re:Hooking a 10GHz CPU to a front side bus... (1)

Dano Watt (841769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288399)

I'd assume that if they could get the cpu to run at 10GHz, it wouldn't be that much harder to get the fsb to run at a decent speed.

A Good Thing? (5, Insightful)

rdc_uk (792215) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288319)

To my mind it _might_ be a good thing if the rampant speed-advance slowed (a lot).

Consider:

We might get some return to efficient coding being the norm, instead of writing systems anyhow and throwing more/faster hardware at it until it runs acceptably (Microsoft; its you I'm looking at!)

Your (and your business') desktop machine might _not_ become obsolete in no more than 2 years, and mmight continue in useful service as something more sensible than a whole PC doing the job of a router...

Processor designers might spend more time (i know they already spend some) on innovating new ideas, rather than solving the problems with just ramping up clock speeds.

Cooling/Quietening technology might have a snowball's chance in hell of catching up with heat output?

(and the wild dreaming one)
Games writers might remember about gameplay, rather than better coloured lighting...

Re:A Good Thing? (0, Flamebait)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288366)

The Java industry would die within months and old C/C++ programmers and assembly hackers would be in total demand with many hours of work required.. Hey what are we waiting for!!

dual cpu systems (3, Interesting)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288320)

since the mid 90s thats all I have built - they really do extend the time before you feel compelled to upgrade. Sure there are not that many apps that run threads on each CPU. But to me a large part of it is that I run many applications simultaneously. With 2 CPU's I rarely get any sluggish feel. And if one app is being especially hoggish I can set it to run on one cpu and flip another important app to the other cpu.

This time around I also sprung for a hardware raid card and set up a 10 array. That has helped quite a bit with system responsiveness.

I've also turned off as much eye candy as possible. After a couple days its really not missed and things are much snappier.

yeah it would be great if I could run out and get some 10GHz chips to fry a few eggs on, but I think my dual MP2200's still have a bit of life in them.

Re:dual cpu systems (2, Interesting)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288463)

With multi-cores and such soon all CPUs will be dual/quad CPUs. what would be even better is a hardware interface (like AGP is to graphics) for CPU's instead of this 'sticking it in a socket in the middle of the motherboard' approach, then you could just keep adding more and more CPUs and even keep the old ones (converter boards would let you plug in even older cpus). It would be pretty impressive getting it to work with different memory/cpu/bus speeds and having a fool-proof multi-cpu management system cheaply and in the basic PC specs but damn it would be cool.

Wikipedia as a source (0, Troll)

me at werk (836328) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288323)

Did anyone else notice they sourced their Figure 1 from Wikipedia? I know the trolls are already going to agree with the article just to get picked on, but then they'd have to agree with wikipedia, which they can't do because they already are picking on Wikipedia.

It's a paradox of trolling. What will we do!

Statistical significance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11288326)

I'm not sure that graph in the article has any real significance - Nearly all of the 'flattening out' of the curve is in the future, and the remaining part doesn't look *that* discouraging.

Apart from that.. I'm not sure if it's a major shift - quite a good amount of apps already are multi-threaded. Not to mention the increasing complexity (and thus amount of work done) of operating systems and api layers, which are already running as seperate processes.

OK this is a serious question (1)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288328)

and I am not being negative and glib just passing off the need for faster, PC. When you have speed things will come up to use that horsepower!

But now say we have 2.5gihz athlon's and G5's and 3.8gihz pentiums and other processors all at respectable speed. They are really very good for many things!!

What do you all people see as uses for faster PC's if you could have 10gihz on a desktop machine or even laptop. Well video would be one thing that is good. What else would it help to have the speed for? Would it make a real advantage for you to step up for a 10gihz computer? Is it more, important, to have your 500gib and 1tib hard drive space and 8gib of ram with a big monitor??

Mac Security News [tribbles.org]

Re:OK this is a serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11288467)

I might actually get Macromedia Studio MX to NOT run like a total dog?

(Doubt it: I have 4 PCs, with varying levels of performance, Studio MX seems to run as slowly on them all...)

are you serious? (1)

willCode4Beer.com (783783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288487)

Why should a car have more than a 50hp motor ?
Why put more than a 25hp motor in a motorcycle ?
Why should anybody want to get a plasma flatscreen TV?
Hell, what good is color TV?

I've always wondered (4, Interesting)

harks (534599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288336)

Why the size restraints on processors? Could a processor be made twice as fast if it could be made twice the size? When we hit the limit on how small transistors can be made, could processors continue to increase in speed by making them larger? I see no need why computers need to keep a processor size to two inches square.

Re:I've always wondered (1)

Tiroth (95112) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288413)

signal propagation time

Look again, your processor is one heck of a lot smaller than 4 square inches! All that space is mostly fan out to the connectors plus a few resistors/capacitors.

Re:I've always wondered (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288440)

Its the inverse.

They make the transistors smaller so that it takes less power to switch, and because of the reduction, you also get a reduction in the time it takes.

However, packing hundreds of thousands of tiny little transistors all switching wildly into a tightly packed arena causes problems.

Maybe however, your onto something, make the die larger, and make the spacing between larger (but keep long straight pathways) so that the generated heat can be dissapated better?

Re:I've always wondered (4, Informative)

mikeee (137160) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288448)

No, making it bigger will make it slower. Current digital systems are mostly "clocked" (they don't have to be, but that gets much more complicated), which means that signals have to be able to get from one side of the system to the other within one clock cycle.

This is why your CPU runs at a faster speed than your L2 cache (which is bigger), which runs at a faster speed than your main memory (which is bigger), which runs at a faster speed than memory in the adjacent NUMA-node (which is bigger), which runs faster than the network (which is bigger),...

Note that I'm talking about latency/clock-rate here; you can get arbitrarily high bandwidth in a big system, but there are times when you have to have low latency and there's no substitute for smallness then; light just isn't that fast!

Defect rate (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288455)

All semiconductor manufacture processes have defects, and when a defect occurs it ruins the chip.

Typically defects occur at random so there will be X defects per cm^2 (in this case X should be 1).

So the bigger you make the individual chip dies, the more likely the case that there will be a defect in one of them. Hence larger chips have far lower yield than smaller chips.

This is the main reason that very few digital cameras have sensors the size of 35mm film... since you'll probably end up with a yeild of less than 0.5.

Re:I've always wondered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11288462)

I believe that if you make the core larger, it may actually slow the proc down because they bits have to travel further. Also, when you increase the size linearly, the heat produced goes up exponentially.

It's kind of like how ants are very strong because they're small. They could not be made larger and still support themselves. Or maybe I've just been drinking far too much.

Surely someone will correct me if I'm wrong. (Don't call me Shirley!)

Re:I've always wondered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11288495)

For higher frequency processors (GHz and up) the core size will start to matter for a single processor. Speed of light and all that.
Unless you meant putting multiple processors on a single chip, that could work.

Who needs 10GHz (1)

TychoCelchuuu (835690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288338)

There are so many areas in which we can improve technology; it's not time to get fixated on GIGARHURTZ when we're coming up against a wall.

Adding Ghz is probably not the best solution (3, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288359)

Ramping up clock speeds is hitting some serious limitations as far as increasing the work done by a machine is concerned. There are lots of ways to get work done faster. They are just harder to market without some good, popular, and independent benchmarking standards. At some point engine manufacturers realized that increasing the cubic centimeters of displacement in an engine was not the best way to make it faster or more powerful. Now most car reviews include horsepower. Clock speed is analogous to CCs.

Software (1)

BrianHursey (738430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288362)

Normal user software will get no improvement of cpu speed like this.. They day to day computer user would seek not benefit of something this fast.

Get over it (2, Insightful)

Mirk (184717) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288363)

If, as the Dr. Dobbs article says, "the free lunch is over", then the only sensible thing to do is make do with what we have now. For goshssakes, people, the computers we have now are already insanely over-powered. How many more gigahertz do we need my life already?

Re:Get over it (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288471)

"the computers we have now are already insanely over-powered."

That depends on your application. Are you doing word processing or low latency general purpose signal processing?

Clock speed isn't everything. (2, Insightful)

bchernicoff (788760) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288364)

The difference between Intel and AMD's cpu architecture yields similar performance but at very different clock speeds(AMD's 3200+ runs at 2.2GHz). Other aspects of PC performance continue to improve, so as long as the trend is towards greater overall system performance, clock speed matters less. And greater parallelism is a good way to achieve this.

free ride may not be over (1)

willCode4Beer.com (783783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288365)

After reading the previous article about the laser on a chip. I think that we will continue to see sped increases.
Everytime we come upon the "maximum" capabilities, some smart guys and gals figure out a way to get beyond it.
I've been hearing for 10 years that computers can't possibly get much faster. Memory can't possibly get any smaller.

I say "bah!" to the nay sayers. People will always find a way. A guaranteed way to be labeled an idiot in history is to claim something is impossible.
Wasn't there some british lord in the 30's who publically claimed that it was impossible to fly?
Wasn't the maximum possible speed to travel 100mph?
then the speed of sound was impossible to overcome.
then, you can only get to space with billions and billions of dollars.
or, a computer to do "that" would be the size on the empire state building and require all the power of niagra falls just to keep it cool.

The impossible is for weenies.

As stated in TFA (1)

youngerpants (255314) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288376)

Moores Law is an exponential law; it just cant go on doubling exponentially, there has to be a ceiling at which the technology being used reaches its peak.

Think of it like accelerating your car. 2mph, 4mph, 8mph, 16mph, 32mph... you are increasing your speed exponentially, but even that 5.7 V10 is going to max out at some point. IANAM, but I'm sure there is a name for this.

Also from TFA, this hasn't happened yet, chip designers are just being more intelligent about how they boost speed (not just cycles, but cache, multi-threading etc).

However, I'm sure that within the next few years silicon will have given us all it can... long live grid computing

Abstract it away... (2, Interesting)

Lodragandraoidh (639696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288378)

What gives?


You, sir, are an idiot. :p

Seriously though, the article recommends building applications concurrently. Short-term this may be the case on a small scale (and really already is the case).

The fundamental paradigm shift that will occur will be when we build our operating systems to handle concurrency for us; the advent of 4GLs will help move this forward.

In this model, you would program normally, not worrying about concurrency at all. The OS would do all the dirty work of breaking up your application into pieces that can run concurrently for you. Are we there yet? No. Will we be there? Yes - particularly if you want to keep productivity at high levels. You will have to abstract concurrency from the day to day programmer for this to happen.

Dual prossesors... (1)

sirgallihad (846850) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288386)

It's really interesting that dual prossesors haven't caught on in mainstream computing. This isn't to say that there are mobos out there that are avalable to the public that support two or more prossesors, but it's really a niche market, people who generally understand computers looking for a super-fast new computer at a certain point have to start looking at dual prossesor solutions. Not to mention that those consumers(let's call them geeks), when they have their dual prossesor system, there are very fiew apps that actually take advantage of the dual prossesor capabilities(photoshop, final cut, etc). The rest of them just end up being run on seperate prossesors, which is still faster, if ALL apps where made for both single and dual prossesors, then Joe Gamer and the Geek and eventually Fred Email will want a dual prossesor computer, because the two prossesors can act as one(as I said, if the apps are coded right), therefore making faster systems.

need for speed? (2, Interesting)

ekeup1 (847343) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288391)

For >95% of users, I see no need to have computers faster than 2Ghz. Maybe I'm getting old... oh, and music these kids listen to....

bring on the diamond wafers (2, Informative)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288392)

When they get off the silicon and hop onto those nice diamond wafers (there is an article in wired), then we will see faster processing.

The main problem - our largest producer (Intel) said they would not stop utilizing silicon until they made more money from it...We know that the industry likes to stagger upgrades. Instead of giving us the latest and greatest - they give us everything in between in nice "slow" steps so we spend more money. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing the jumps of 1ghz at a time. This year 2.0 ghz, next year 3.0, following year 4.0, etc...and then eventually increase it further so its 5ghz at a time, etc. et al.

Actually this is sort of like competition (2, Interesting)

melted (227442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288397)

When there's no free ride, programmers will have to compete with each other on who can squeeze that last bit of performance out of existing hardware. So you can kinda sorta predict the revival of the performance-conscious programming.

10ghz. Huh??! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11288423)

Raw speed isn't measured in Megahertz anymore. Actually, it never really depended on MHZ, it was always MFLOPS. For years, and finally getting due recognition, AMD has destroyed Intel despite having a slower mhz core. MFLOPS was and is the key.

Brooklyn.

where is it? (2, Funny)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288431)

"Based on decades of growth in CPU speeds, Santa was supposed to drop off my 10 Ghz PC a few weeks back, but all I got was this lousy 2 Ghz dual processor box"

Santa was unable to deliver your 10Ghz system this year for the following reasons:

1) Santa's Flying Car has not arrived

2) Santa could not use his sleigh because it failed the new FCC saftey requirements for subobital ships (something about flaming reindeer poo falling from the sky).

3) The OS for the new 10Ghz computer is Duke Nukem Forever which isn't currently available - maybe next year or decade.

Been coding for the future architectures for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11288438)

My code won't perform adequately until processors have 1GB L2 cache.

Yeah (2, Funny)

Aggrazel (13616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288454)

And for that matter, where's my Mr. Fusion, Hovercar conversion, Jaws 17 and perfected weather service? Aren't those supposed to be done by 2015?

Your 10ghz is waiting.. (2, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11288464)

Just click here.. and send me your CC number, name and billing address ill get it shipped right out to you.

Free shipping if you act in 24hours..

But wait.. theres more..
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