In a recent blog post entitled “Engineers’ Multicore/Multiprocessor Experience Improving” , VDC research revealed a survey showing that more and more engineers are gaining experience working on multicore or multiprocessor projects.
VDC Research questions the the factors that are driving engineers’ expanding experience with multiprocessing, such as the increasing availability and affordability of multicore processors, advancements in processor technology, the effectiveness of ISVs efforts around educating the engineering community about the use of multicore or the continued maturation of software solutions that enable parallel programming.
But I believe it’s all of the above. There are now many cost effective multicore processors for embedded systems (mainly thanks to ARM). Some of them have low cost development platforms that attract more developers. For device where battery comnsumption is important, multicore device will usually provide a longer battery life as it will use less energy for a given task executed in a given amount of time, provided the software is optimized for multicore. There is now good support for multicore in Linux and Android and software developers may not need to be involved in the multicore aspect during programming as this may be fully handled by the lower level of the software. I’m sure there would be a much lower percentage of respondents that actually worked on multicore programming vs. simply working with or programming on multicore processors.
VDC research says it will investigate those trends in their new upcoming report entitled “Multicore Components & Tools” from their 2011 Embedded Software & Tools Market Intelligence Service.