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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Roughly Drafted provides a birds-eye view of the key technologies coming in Mac OS X Snow Leopard. While Apple's press release and later comments by Steve Jobs provides hints of what Grand Central and OpenCL are planning to accomplish, this article adds a few extra details.

According to the article, Apple's Grand Central is a new thread management architecture which simplifies the developer's task to support multi-threading:
Snow Leopard’s Grand Central Dispatch does the same thing [as modern networking] for processes, packetizing tasks into Blocks and routing them to available processing cores as efficiently as possible. It can also manage the big picture for the whole system, adjusting how it balances its tasks as the performance load increases. This would be close to impossible for Individual developers to do themselves.
With the recent trend towards multi-core CPUs, exploiting multi-threaded designs is required to take advantage of today's processors. As expected, OpenCL will allow developers to also pass off tasks to the computer's Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). However, it appears OpenCL code will be stored as bytecode to allow for just-in-time compilation (same as Core Image) allowing applications to be specifically optimized to the graphics hardware it is being run on. Similarly, Grand Central will oversee OpenCL tasks as well, to optimally route code to the best available processor.

Apple expects to ship the final version of Mac OS X Snow Leopard in "about a year".

Article Link
 

jawzzy

macrumors regular
May 13, 2007
155
0
New York
Wow, actually can't wait for Snow Leopard. Glad that SOMEONE is looking to build a solid, fast foundation for future development rather than adding shiny fluff.
 

ckurowic

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2007
188
0
Wow, actually can't wait for Snow Leopard. Glad that SOMEONE is looking to build a solid, fast foundation for future development rather than adding shiny fluff.

yeah for sure. PPC whiners need not post.
 

jons

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2008
318
94
Wow, actually can't wait for Snow Leopard. Glad that SOMEONE is looking to build a solid, fast foundation for future development rather than adding shiny fluff.

I absolutely agree. I see this as being a huge step forward for Apple. It will really bring new life to the existing multi-core macs.

MS should take note here especially. Instead of building some shiny features on top of a 20 year old kernal, work on optimizing and refining the user experience from the bottom up based on stability and speed.

Bravo Apple.

- js
 

verniesgarden

macrumors 65816
May 29, 2007
1,170
771
Saint Louis, Mo
i'm seeing this as a new step towards a none "OS X" maybe OS11, but i can't think of what horrible name they could give it to match mobileme and ... snow leopard, did the guy in charge of naming products at apple quit or something?
:D
 

sirjorj

macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2007
28
4
I am more excited about Snow Leopard than I ever was for Leopard! The Grand Central is looking to be very impressive.

I think "Snow Leopard" makes sense because to most end users, it really won't be much different than Leopard.

jorj, waiting for OS X 10.7 "Tabby" ;)
 

aLoC

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2006
726
0
Multithreading is when two parts of your program run at the same time. Grand Central doesn't sound like multithreading, it sounds like instead of processes or threads being the thing you schedule on a processor, you instead schedule some kind of work unit.

That in itself wouldn't allow for more parallelism, but would mean you could ensure that processors can be "filled up" regardless of the relative granularities of your tasks or threads.
 

gonnabuyamac

macrumors 6502
Sep 26, 2006
412
0
I'm definitely excited about this. My half year old MacBook Pro is constantly buggy - whether it's that annoying graphics glitch, or staring at a beach ball for minutes, or random system freeze ups that end up requiring a hard shut down. I'm ready for some of that stability and reliability that Apple is supposed to be known for.
 

Luveno

macrumors member
May 12, 2006
37
0
Nova Scotia, Canada
It would be amazing if Grand Central tied in with xgrid, to allow for applications to easily exploit idle network cpu's if they're listening as xgrid nodes. Wouldn't be practical for most apps, but tasks like video encoding could benefit from being optimized to make use of multiple cpu's on a network. That's likely just a pipe dream, but a guy can dream :)
 

Nugget

Contributor
Nov 24, 2002
2,041
1,195
Houston Texas USA
The big disappointment to me is that Apple are announcing 'iCal Server 2' as a 10.6 Snow Leopard feature in OS X Server. I guess this means that we'll have to wait "about a year" before iCal Server is even remotely viable to use, because it's pretty freakin' useless as it exists today in 10.5 Leopard.

I was hoping for a point-level release fixing some of the more egregious problems with iCal Server, but I guess that's off the table now.

As good as OS X is on the desktop, it's a pretty miserable experience on the server.
 

ckurowic

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2007
188
0
The big disappointment to me is that Apple are announcing 'iCal Server 2' as a 10.6 Snow Leopard feature in OS X Server. I guess this means that we'll have to wait "about a year" before iCal Server is even remotely viable to use, because it's pretty freakin' useless as it exists today in 10.5 Leopard.

I was hoping for a point-level release fixing some of the more egregious problems with iCal Server, but I guess that's off the table now.

As good as OS X is on the desktop, it's a pretty miserable experience on the server.

Aye aye, server master :rolleyes:
 

ckurowic

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2007
188
0
I'm definitely excited about this. My half year old MacBook Pro is constantly buggy - whether it's that annoying graphics glitch, or staring at a beach ball for minutes, or random system freeze ups that end up requiring a hard shut down. I'm ready for some of that stability and reliability that Apple is supposed to be known for.

Get rid of all that crap 3rd party software you undoubtedly have. I've had ZERO kernal panics/freezing with 10.5. That goes all the way back to 10.5.0 on my G5 1.6GHz up to my new 2.4GHz iMac Intel.
 

JCarrera

macrumors newbie
Jun 15, 2008
1
0
Snow Leopard to make the most of Nehalem

looks like the "core" chip architecture
of which the Penryn is a part of is going
to be replaced by the Nehalem
architecture

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nehalem_(microarchitecture)>

Nehaem will have more cores and
will allow two threads per core so it
will allow much greater multi threading
than the current chip architecture on
which OS X runs

Looks like Snow Leopard "out in about
a year's time" is being planned to make
the most of Nehalem chips such as the
Clarksfield and Auburndale that will
come after Penryns in 2Q09.

<http://www.digitimes.com/systems/a20080612VL201.html>
 

ckurowic

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2007
188
0
I am more excited about Snow Leopard than I ever was for Leopard! The Grand Central is looking to be very impressive.

I think "Snow Leopard" makes sense because to most end users, it really won't be much different than Leopard.

jorj, waiting for OS X 10.7 "Tabby" ;)

Thank you for all your wisdom, Apple software engineer. Oh, the sarcasm, it kills me. :rolleyes:
 

D4F

Guest
Sep 18, 2007
914
0
Planet Earth
I still wonder what will happen with software compatibility.
I have invested over $7500 on what I use and if this becomes worthless on new systems I will be one mad camper.
 

neven

macrumors 6502a
Oct 10, 2006
815
0
Portland, OR
I still wonder what will happen with software compatibility.
I have invested over $7500 on what I use and if this becomes worthless on new systems I will be one mad camper.

Other than ActiveSync, Snow Leopard is not supposed to bring any improvement to PPC machines, so why exactly would you upgrade at all? Any serious security and stability fixes will be delivered as updates to 10.5, so there will be no need for PPC users to upgrade to Snow Leopard. It's meant to prepare OS X for the advent of 16+ GB memory, multi-core CPUs, and other future technologies. You don't have to upgrade, and I don't see why you would feel left behind if you didn't. It's simply not an upgrade that addresses your hardware.
 

Zwhaler

macrumors 604
Jun 10, 2006
6,997
1,446
I hope it isn't $129, because that wouldn't really be worth it to me then. Make it 50 bucks and I'll take 3.
 
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