The period between 2000 and 2004 had Intel and its rival AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) beefing up their silicon platters with more and more transistors. With Intel winning the GHz Race (http://www.zdnet.co.uk/tsearch/gigahertz+1ghz+barrier.htm).
Both Intel and AMD continued to push forward in their race to beat the 2Ghz. The main stream consumers suffered frequent system shutdowns owing to their molten cpus. It was not until the exploding athlon on Toms Hardware that AMD realized that they needed to get back to the drawing board. Out came the AMD64bit line of cpus. The Intel camp also were busy melting the silicon wafers. Still the gigahertz race was on. The heated cpu cores from their prescot line of Pentium 4 processor showed the inevitable futility of the Gigahertz race. There was a big lull period during 2004 and 2005 during which both Intel and AMD couldnt push their processor speeds and ratings past the 4Ghz. That was when the giants realized that one core is retro and multi core is the new Pentium.
Putting more and more cores on a single die means more power consumption. Power efficient processor designs decreases the cost to run data centers and huge computing clouds. Given the fact that we would be running out of oil in the next few decades. Its onus own our part to decrease our energy consumption
Here is some of the recent developments of an economy conscious about power usage.
- Apple to adopt Intel’s ultra-mobile PC platform : This is an exclusive report of Apple insider. A 1 Watt processor is going to bring a paradigm shift in the way we use computers. Something which is already shaken by the apple iPhone. It is going to make mobile platform as the main stay in computation.
- Solid State Hard drives : These drives run at twice the speed with 10 times lower latency and more than 60% less power compared to top of the line hard disks of today. Mass adoption would hopefully bring the price down. Apple is already looking to put in their their mac book pro line of notebooks.
- MIT Students run super computer using pedal power : A virtual nuclear fusion reaction was modelled on a super computer running for 20 minutes on bicycle power pedalled by 10 cyclists from MIT. I wonder how they have time for all these pet projects between course work