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"The software has to also start following Moore's Law," Intel fellow Shekhar Borkar told reporters, referring to the notion that chips offer roughly double the performance every 18 months to two years. "Software has to double the amount of parallelism that it can support every two years."
But that's easier said than done, it seems. CNET says that things are better on the server side, where machines are handling multiple simultaneous workloads. Desktop apps can learn some from the way supercomputers and servers have handled things, but another principle, Amdahl's Law, holds that there is only so much parallelism that programs can incorporate before they hit some inherently serial task.
However, Borkar said that there are other options. Applications can handle multiple distinct tasks, and systems can run multiple applications. Programs and systems can also both speculate on what tasks a user might want and use processor performance that way. But what won't work is for the industry to just keep going with business as usual, he said.