Forget Moore's Law. We Need Olukotun's Ordinance
The Stanford lab, which will cost $6 million over three years, will be led by Kunle Olukotun, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science. Olukotun helped pioneer the idea of multicore microprocessors, which have since gained rapid popularity in both corporate and consumer computer hardware.
The most advanced corporate server microprocessor, as well as processors for video game machines, have up to eight cores. While operating systems -- the basic layer of software that runs a computer -- can work with this type of hardware, software engineers widely acknowledge that most applications, ranging from corporate productivity software to multimedia programs, are not designed for efficient use of the dozens or hundreds of processors expected in future computers.
Chip manufacturers understand that there's no reason for you to upgrade your machines if the increases in computing hardware are wasted by a lack of multi-thread software to run them, so they're stepping up to the plate to fund the research. See? Greed is good sometimes.