"Adding cores to the CPU has become the general recipe to ensure
performance improvements in modern computers, even if we have heard
before than the IT industry will face efficiency problems beyond 16
cores. New research published by MIT now suggests that the industry
will be running into a soft wall when 48 cores are reached and new
operating system architectures may be required.
"The number of cores in modern CPUs has grown much slower than
we initially anticipated. The first mainstream quad-core processor
(Intel Kentsfield), followed just 18 months after the release of
the first dual-core processor (Intel Smithfield) in May 2005 and
haven't changed much since then. Six physical cores (and 12
threads) is the top of the range at Intel, while AMD has 12 cores
available right now, but is talking about up to 16 cores in the not
too distant future.
"Intel has said in the past that, beyond 16 cores, it appears
that much of the performance gain efficiency from the pure addition
of cores may be gone and improving software that takes advantages
of these cores may become much more important."
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