Hey, Bulldozer fans: if you’re regular readers of the site you may remember that we told you a few months back that AMD expects to see better performance for its FX chips in Windows 8, as the company claimed that Windows 7 didn’t handle simultaneous multithreading efficiently. Turns out they were right! Kind of. Windows 7 didn’t handle simultaneous multithreading efficiently, but you still might not see a performance jump in Windows 8 – because today, Microsoft released a hotfix to correct the problem and help Bulldozers run better on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
How do you defend your market share and fend off the likes the Intel? Make your chips faster and more flexible. That's exactly what ARM intends to do as it gears up to add multithreading support to upcoming architectures, the company said.
The decision to add multithreading isn't just about fending off Intel, but also a necessary element for ARM to move into other areas, like servers and high-end computing.
"We're looking at how we can address certain markets in the networking space that could potentially use multithreading in a way that is more beneficial," said Kumaran Siva, segment marketing manager at ARM.
Oversimplified, multithreading describes a technique for single processor cores to break up tasks into threads and work on them concurrently, ultimately improving performance.
"They have no choice but to move to multithreading. Of course, they then have to get the various OSes to take full advantage of the multithreading, but I think that would happen easily," said Jack Gold, principal analyst at J. Gold Associates.