Focus On Parallel Programming For Snow Leopard

Steve Jobs says the next version of Apple's OS, nicknamed Snow Leopard, will concentrate on easing programming for parallel processors. Of course multi-core CPUs already pose challenges to use all the available processing capacity they're capable of, but in addition to that, Jobs is proposing using the OS to grab available graphics processing power for CPU functions too.

Jobs said Apple is proposing a new processing standard called Open CL (Open Computing Language) that allows programmers to take advantage of graphics processors. "Basically it lets you use graphics processors to do computation," he said. "It's way beyond what Nvidia or anyone else has, and it's really simple."

P.A. Semi, the small chip Relevant Products/Services-design firm Apple acquired in April, will not be involved in this effort. P.A. Semi will focus on custom-designing chips for the iPod and iPhone, Jobs said.

That's no surprise, said Tim Bajarin, principal analyst with Creative Strategies. "The logical impact of the P.A. Semi acquisition was that Apple would create their own custom chips for use in the iPhone and the iPod's of the future," Bajarin said.

It was refreshing to see Jobs outline Apple's focus on advances in security, speed, and reduction of necessary resources instead of larding the OS up with additional features. I guess someone learned something from watching the public's reaction to Vista. I wonder if anyone at Microsoft did.