Many microchips today incorporate multiple processing units, known as cores, to boost performance (see “Designing for Mobility”). These cores share system resources such as memory. Widely cited U.S. patent 5,617,537, awarded to Japanese communications giant NTT in 1997, arbitrates between cores as they access system memory, so that one core does not, for example, accidentally overwrite information that another core has placed in memory.
A patent map created by IPVision, based in Cambridge, MA, shows a key invention by Japanese communications giant NTT. Awarded in 1997, the patent is important to the growing trend toward so-called multicore chips in computers; these chips incorporate multiple processing units, known as cores, which share system resources, such as memory. The advantage of a multicore system is that, in theory, a pair of two-gigahertz cores, for instance, could work together to do the job of one four-gigahertz core but with a lot less power–an important consideration for mobile devices. In practice, it can be difficult to coordinate the cores so that they work together seamlessly. This widely cited patent describes a way to handle a big piece of the coordination puzzle: how to arbitrate between cores as they access system memory, so that one core does not accidently overwrite information that another core has placed in memory.
Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build
“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”
ChatGPT is going to change education, not destroy it
The narrative around cheating students doesn’t tell the whole story. Meet the teachers who think generative AI could actually make learning better.
Meet the people who use Notion to plan their whole lives
The workplace tool’s appeal extends far beyond organizing work projects. Many users find it’s just as useful for managing their free time.
Learning to code isn’t enough
Historically, learn-to-code efforts have provided opportunities for the few, but new efforts are aiming to be inclusive.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.