For those of you in to this sort thing, Tom Yager has a really interesting opinion piece on why you should care—really care—about AMD’s Torrenza processor line and it’s first baby, Barcelona.
By Tom’s reckoning, Barcelona is way more than 4 Opterons stuck together.
…Barcelona is genius, a genuinely new CPU that frees itself entirely of the millstone of the Pentium legacy. It’ll do the same for you.
Each of Barcelona’s four cores incorporates a new vector math unit referred to as SSE128 (128-bit streaming single-instruction-multiple-data extensions). I am aware that you only do quantum physics on weekends, but the potential for hard-core IT tasks such as encryption, compression, real-time analysis of high volumes of streaming business transactions, and wire-speed packet analysis is also the stuff of science fiction.
Barcelona gives floating-point operations their own schedulers (checkout lanes) and runs them twice as fast as 64-bit SSE did. AMD claims that Barcelona’s per-core floating point performance is more than 80% faster than the present Opteron.
Computerworld’s readers might only do quantum physics on weekends, but we do it every day. Whee.