In reality, all of this is stupid design, and it is done because they don't know what to do with the extra transistors.
They could have added several cores, either way, a long time ago, I am not sure of what your point is. They chose not to because all this stuff about thread level parallellism is nonsense. It never works as well as instruction set level parallellism and never will. I am not saying it is worthless, but it was always worth less than incremental improvements in a single core which showed improvements in every application.
So, Intel and AMD start putting more cores per chips and convincing the idiots of the world this is what they needed all along. They do this to keep prices artificially high even though uniprocessors are more than fine for the vast majority of people, and would use less power and cost less to purchase. Now people are picky about how they implement this, so obviously Intel and AMD have done a great job brainwashing people with the simple "more is better" mantra that apparently is instinctive to humans.
The Cell processor is not a general purpose processor, by the way. It is useful in a much narrower range than the Pentium 4 or Athlon 64. You may as well compare bit-slice processors with them too if you are going to include the Cell.
With regards to Cyrix, it is a dead company. VIA no longer sells Cyrix processors and the line was discontinued and considered worthless. They still sell processors, but from the Centaur branch they bought from IDT. Centaur has always been about very simple designs that work adequately enough for a decent amount of people, and are very small and very power efficient. Adding garbage technology like multiple cores would go against that, and before they did that, they would simple add more to the processor so it performed better. It is very doubtful they will go this way until they also run out of ideas, and keep in mind they have a much lower power ceiling as their target, so it is probably not something we will see in a while, unless they move into another market. Again though, they would beef up the processor first, I would think, rather than go multicore, because the processor itself is really quite slow.
To give you an example, I bought a fanless 800 MHz processor last year and put it in my little fanless machine I use in the kitchen. Well, 800 MHz doesn't sound too slow, considering it uses DDR/266 as well. But, this thing is a dog. It runs roughly the same speed as my K6-III+ does at 500 MHz, and I am talking about CPU performance here, not the miserable on-board video performance. But, the processor uses less than 6 watts (less than a Pentium Pro uses), saves heat and money on fans, and works OK for normal stuff like surfing, emailing, and messaging, so it is a very useful product. However, seeing as how the processor is so inefficient, my guess is their next steps would be to improve IPC with the extra transistor budget, rather than add new cores.
Naturally, I could be wrong. I can not read Asian companies well at all, they do weird things so often I have given up even trying.
04/03/06 10:00:33 AM]