Intel teaches Haswell the core values of teamwork, optimism

Sharif Sakr
S. Sakr|02.09.12

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Intel teaches Haswell the core values of teamwork, optimism
Sure you can make wild, individualistic boasts about having a 22nm fabrication process and three different GPUs, but that stuff counts for nothing without the magic of cooperation. The Amish know that and so does Intel, which is why its forthcoming Haswell cores will support Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX) -- a new instruction set designed to allow cores to work together more closely without hammering each others' fingers. TSX takes greater responsibility for the division of labor between cores at the hardware level, relieving the software programmer of some of this burdensome duty and hopefully allowing for finer-grained threading as a result. The system also relies on inherent optimism, with each core assuming that the others have handled their part of the work successfully. Inevitably, there'll be occasions when this happy belief gets splintered and a bad job has to be started again from scratch, but on average things should get done quicker and leave more energy for the barn dance.
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