Apple has decided to increase the power of the Mac OS X. Towards this end, significant improvements have been made in the software that has been developed for this edition of the Mac. This new version of the Mac OS X is named “Snow Leopard.”
This will use a new technology called Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) that can better use the multicore processors and graphic processors in chips. It takes complete advantage of optimizing the Mac OS X multicore for easy allocation of tasks across multiple cores and processors.
Previously, turning up the clock speed on the processor was the method used by chip makers to develop high speed systems. As the clock speed increased, software also ran faster. But the problem with doing that is the generation of more heat and consumption of more power. The chips are also idle most of the time, with the memory cycles not meeting the speed.
Because of these problems, the focus was shifted from increasing clock speed to making multicore processors, which means chips with multiple processor cores were put into a single CPU, and this consumes less power and provides better performance.
Although, the computing power in a multicore processor was greater, software did not automatically become faster. To be able to get the best possible performance out of these processors and squeeze out every bit of power from the multicore systems, software applications should use multi-threaded programming that can perform more than one job at a time. Operations had to be performed in parallel, which meant that most of the applications need to be rewritten to take advantage of the multicore systems. But because threads are difficult to program, most software developers do not make the effort to make their applications multicore capable. This is where the revolutionary Grand Central Dispatch technology helps.
Apple is introducing the new Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) in its new Mac OS X Snow Leopard. In this operating system, all the threads are handled by the operating system and not by the applications. Programmers now write less code in the applications, with the system performing much more efficiently. Programs that are GCD enabled will be able to use all available cores by distributing work evenly across them. This is done automatically and results in far better performance in a multi-core Mac. Performances will significantly increase once GCD is used by developers for applications.
GCD makes everything far more efficient by using only the number of threads that are needed for a particular job to be done. GCD frees resources that it is not using in contrast to an application without GCD, which consumes resources even when there is nothing to do. With this, every application on the Mac becomes far more efficient and faster.
The integration of the new GCD technology into Mac OS X Snow Leopard, makes is easier to use all the multicore processors to their fullest capacity, and improves overall performance of the Mac. The Mac OS X also comes with General Purpose Graphical Processing Unit (GPGPU) support, which provides a better graphical display.
Multicore processors are proving to transform the way developers write applications. With the Grand Central Dispatch technology, it is the operating system that takes the responsibility for thread management, which was earlier the responsibility of the developers. Now, the enormous power of hardware can be exploited to the fullest.