Multicore - For Ages 7 and Up (a sequel to Multicore – For Ages 6 and Up)
At this year’s “Bring Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day” in TI’s Germantown, Maryland facility, the highlight for us wasn’t how much fun we had engaging on technology and science with 55 kids. Or how sinfully delicious the funnel cake/ice cream bar was (it was, it was, it was)! The highlight for us was seeing how quickly and clearly the kids understood what multicore was about. In a day filled with different sessions and workshops, one of those sessions really hit it home with our young crowd.
In our session leader’s game, the kids were divided into two groups of five (in total, we had 5 groups with two teams each). Each child in the group got a problem to solve. On the single core team, players were allowed to start a task only when the previous player was done. On the multicore team, the players started their respective tasks at the same time. The hypothesis was that multicore team would finish ahead of the single core team. So what were the results??
Interestingly, while in 4 out of the 5 groups the multicore team finished first as expected, in one of the groups the skill level was mismatched (due to the players' young ages) and the single core team finished first! This helps to prove an important aspect of multicore: when evaluating multicore solutions it is important to understand the performance capability of the cores themselves, and not just look at the number of cores!
When asked later in the evening what he learned about multicore, one 7 year old told his TI mom, “Well, if you take an apple, orange, lemon and kiwi and the software analyzes its shape and color, the software running on a single core will match the options one by one, but the software running on multicore will match all four simultaneously. So I guess single core is like having one brain and multicore is like having multiple brains!”
Well said, young man.
(this was a shared post by the Debbie Bloggers - Debbie S. and Debbie G.)
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