BERKELEY, Calif. Despite challenging economic times, the election of Barack Obama is raising optimism for increases in federal funding for basic research, said a Microsoft executive here. Proponents hope an Obama administration will help pass the America Competes Act which calls for increases in federal funding for research in physical sciences.
The U.S. needs to double its spending on basic research in physical sciences, according to Daniel A. Reed, a member of PCAST, the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. Reed testified before Congress on the issue recently and spoke with EE Times at the official opening of the Berkeley Parallel Computing Lab here.
Separately, Reed said the transition to parallel programming for multicore processors marks an inflection point for the computer industry. A smorgasbord of hardware and software techniques is in the works to aid the transition, said Reed, the director of multicore and scalable computing strategy at Microsoft.
In the short term, Microsoft will roll out a functional language called F# as part of its Visual Studio tools, Reed said. The effort is the nearest to commercialization of many parallel software projects at Microsoft, he added.
In terms of hardware, Reed predicted hybrid processors will emerge during the transition. They will include a mix of a few large, out-of-order execution cores to handle existing serial code as well many small in-order cores to handle parallel tasks.