Spinning Globes – killer apps for Multicore?

AMD has released a new quad-core processor, dubbed Barcelona, but as with Intels offering, there seems to be a consensus that until software starts leveraging multicore, demand will not take off as hoped.

Seems like geoprocessing would be a natural fit for running on multiple cores. From what I’ve seen though, writing software for multicore is hard. Google bought Peakstream a couple of months ago, a company that makes software tools for multicore development. Here’s a good description. Unlike their acquisition of Sketchup, though, Peakstream has been pulled out of the public eye. To me this means Google thinks Peakstream gives them a competitive advantage. That’s too bad, I really wish there was some sort of free download of PeakStream that would allow me to start playing with multicore, writing tools that extend GE.
Maybe Google could even enhance KML with tags indicating how multiprocessors should be exploited. Think of a dynamic 3D weather model described in KML so that load is spread across multiple cores as it runs.

Firing up Google Earth Beta on my dual core doesn’t very evenly tax each core, but I wonder if this will change once Peakstream gets digested. Once that happens, could Google Earth spur demand for multicore?

In looking at AGX, it seems like the custom task framework could be extended to recognize & exploit multicore. ESRI has done a nice job at hiding the threading complexities, seems like the custom tasks framework could be extended so that I can tell a custom task how to handle and choose between multiple cores.


3 comments so far

  1. Kevin on

    If I do recall there is a company called RapidMind that does some similar work to Peakstream.

  2. Kevin on

    If I do recall there is a company called RapidMind who does the same type of multi-core work.

  3. Kirk on

    Thanks Kevin! Rapidmind does indeed look good. I guess it would be possible to write a labeling routine in AGX that draws labels in the OpenGL leveraging the GPU for positioning the labels.

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