On Feb 11, 2007, at 10:20 AM, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

> 1. I've been here before -- at the point where general-purpose SISD  
> architectures ran out of steam and special-purpose machines  
> abounded. I spent ten years working for a company, Floating Point  
> Systems, that *made* special-purpose machines. There's a whole  
> generation of people out there, myself among them, that ended up  
> finding other things to do when the general-purpose SISD (and  
> *CISC*) machine known as the Pentium essentially wiped everything  
> else off the map. So I view the current "trend" to multicore  
> systems and more dreams of massively parallel computers becoming  
> mainstream as only a temporary thing ... a swing of a pendulum to  
> one extreme ... general purpose SISD machines will be back!

Let me rephrase that.... general purpose computers always beat  
special-purpose computers.  I've seen LISP machines, database  
machines, even full-text-search machines come and go.   Right now,  
it's hard to be a single-core server chip.  They're all still very  
general-purpose, it's just that silicon builders, at the moment,  
*can* take advantage of Moore's law to build wider (multicore) CPUs,  
but have failed to use it to make any one thread faster; with the  
occasional exception of the IBM Power chips.

So I think the problem is real.  [Disclosure: I work for Sun, maker  
of the 8-core/32-thread T1, and there are more where that came from].

  -Tim