Snow Leopard in Depth: Grand Central Dispatch

Grand Central Dispatch

At the beginning of the decade, Intel (s intc) was imagining that by 2010 it would have processors with over 1 billion transistors running at a clock speed of 20GHz. As we move into the second half of 2009, the reality is that we will soon have 3GHz mobile chips with four cores on them and 2010 will likely see 4GHz desktop chips with six and eight cores. Ultra-fast processors running at clock speeds over 4GHz have just been too expensive to power — and to cool off. So the other solution is to have more processors.

These new processors, based on the Nehalem architecture, or the Westmere 32nm process that will follow, will also feature simultaneous multithreading (what Intel calls “hyperthreading”) to allow for two threads to be executed on a single core. So instead of a superfast 20GHz chip, you could have a Mac Pro in 2010 with 16 cores capable of executing 32 simultaneous threads. Apple is preparing for this massively multi-core future with features in Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6) that can take full advantage of all this raw power. Read More about Snow Leopard in Depth: Grand Central Dispatch