Hi, I'm Tommunism, Bez's partner in crime and engine designer / programmer extraordinare. I'll be posting on here every once in a while. I usually don't have much to say because I usually don't care about enough stuff to say things. I care about some stuff...but not too much stuff. Sometimes, it's hard to keep track of a lot of stuff that you care about, so I find if you don't care about that much stuff, then you don't have that much stuff to take into consideration when figuring out what stuff is more important to you. One thing I definately don't care about is spelling, I can write a fast spell checker, but I can't fill it. So ANYWAY...I figure my introductory post I would talk about something that I DO care about, and that's computer hardware.
I remember back in the day, back when I graduated Highschool in 1999 the fastest chip you could buy was a Pentium 3 550Mhz. You could get the Alpha chip, the first 1Ghz chip, but...I didn't have like 5grand to drop (*sigh* the days of Pollywell computer wet dreams). My parents bought me my computer for college, a Pentium 3 450Mhz machine that I use today as a backup server. I remember 4 months after I started at NC State the new 600 Mhz chip came out, a few months later the 700, then the 750 and so on...so forth. At the rate chip speeds were increasing back then, we should be up around like 10 to 12Ghz easily, but...we aren't. Back in my highschool physics class my teacher, Mr. Ashcraft (Who is a god), was telling us that scientists and chipmakers alike felt that we would reach a limit as to how thin we could cut the circuts and it would limit the total amount of Mhz we could push out. At the time of the article that he was referring to, they were guessing 90Mhz. They were wrong, obviously.
Though I don't feel we're approaching the Ghz limit any time soon, I feel we are going to start shying away from "How fast a chip is" and lean more towards "How many chips does this chip have" Speed, obviously, will always be the main goal, but speed can be attained through various outlets. I think chip Ghz are going to be put aside for the time, and bus speeds between chips are going to be the focus for, at least a while. Take for instance the chip I have, the Pentium D 965 Extreme Edition, and the new Core 2 Duo Extreme edition chips. Both of these chips are dual core chips with hyper threading...so basically you're looking at 4 hardware threads. The clock speed of my 965 is 3.75Ghz clocked to 3.8Ghz. The biggest and baddest Core 2 Duo Extreme clocks in at about 3.2Ghz. Now...you might be thinking to yourself "Hmm...Tommy, you're both awesome, AND have the most powerful chip on the market". Though, I would agree with you that I am awesome, I would disagree with the whole powerful chip statement. The Core 2 Duo beats my chip by a considerable amount. Why...WHY you're probably screaming. It's the bus speed in which the two cores communicate to eachother. Intel came up with a new architecture that boosts the performance of the Core 2 Duo chip quite a bit. I won't go into it in crazy detail, but it works and it works well. I think these is the first steps towards a new era of computing and software development, Multi-Threaded Programming.
Each next gen console (with the exception of the Wii I think) has several processors avaliable to spread out the software load. It's going to be the job of future, and current, game developers to use these processors to squeeze the maximum amount of power out of these consoles. This is going to take careful planning to accurately balance load on these processors. The days of single threaded programming aren't dead yet, but the best of the best of programmers are going to be spreading their code out and getting some serious performance out of these consoles eventually leaving programmers that only know single threaded programming in the dust. I really feel with the direction chip, and console makers are heading that companies are going to be looking for people who have practical and I do stress PRACTICAL experience with multi-threaded programming. I for one am excited and ready.
That's all I have to say right now. If you're a hot chick, pix pls.