Apple's preview of OS X.6 Snow Leopard promises ". . . unrivaled support for multi-core processors . . . " through a "new set of technologies" named Grand Central. What makes Grand Central so powerful - and how can Microsoft respond?
Fresh from Google’s Seattle Scalability Conference - which focused on just the questions Grand Central purports to answer - Apple has only so many choices. What are they?
Apple is clearly a leader in implementing multi-core support, beginning with the first dual processor Power Macs 5 years ago, while the DayStar multi-processor Macs date back to the mid-90s.
The situation is more urgent today: multi-core systems are the only easy way to drive performance up while controlling power use. The problems of multi-processor systems have been studied for over 30 years.
The chief issue is scalability: does an additional processor add performance that exceeds the cost of the processor?