In the computer world’s equivalent of “The Amazing Race,” three rival teams of computer researchers are working on new types of software needed to better use computer chips that can process many tasks at the same time.
Stanford University and six computer and chip makers plan to announce Friday the creation of the Pervasive Parallelism Lab. Besides Stanford, the backers are Sun Microsystems, Advanced Micro Devices, Nvidia, I.B.M., Hewlett-Packard and Intel.
All three efforts are in response to a growing awareness that the software industry is not ready for the coming availability of microprocessors with 8 or 16 or more cores, or processing units, on a single chip. Computer and chip makers are concerned that if software cannot use the new hardware efficiently, customers will have little reason to upgrade.
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