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Groundbreaking discovery might make existing computers twice as fast with no hardware upgrades

Published Mar 12th, 2024 9:52PM EDT

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What if you could make your old PC twice as fast without having to upgrade any of the hardware? That’s the idea behind new research into a system called simultaneous and heterogeneous multithreading, or SHMT. According to a presentation shared by researchers, this PC breakthrough could revolutionize our modern PC speeds without hardware upgrades.

It’s an interesting idea and one that could see a lot of potential uses throughout multiple industries. The team behind the new research includes researchers from the University of California, Riverside (UCR), and they say it has a lot of potential not just in boosting the performance of hardware but also in boosting efficiency and reducing the amount of energy they use.

The new PC breakthrough essentially takes advantage of the fact that modern computers, phones, and other electronics have more than one processor to handle most of their “thinking.” This is handy because it allows for multiple parts of the system to handle different things, including the CPU, GPU, and even the TPU. However, it also means that there can be bottlenecks between the data shifting between these different processors. 

Setup of gaming PC
SHMT could provide significant performance upgrades to PCs without requiring any hardware changes. Image source: ASUS/Amazon

That’s where SHMT comes into play. This allows for the tasks to run simultaneously across multiple processors. This speeds up the efficiency of the tasks overall, and because the workload is spread out, it doesn’t take as much energy to run those tasks, either. The researchers say they saw improvements in processing up to 1.95 times faster and that energy usage was reduced by nearly 51 percent in their tests.

But, there are some significant challenges to bringing this PC breakthrough to every device on the market right now. For starters, it needs to pass through touch quality assurance tests to ensure that there isn’t any kind of potential precision mismatch in the architectures found within the processors.

So, if we do see SHMT coming to devices anytime soon, it’ll probably be very limited, as quality will need to be assured to ensure it’s actually providing the performance and efficiency increases that it is supposed to. A paper on the new breakthrough is available online, and it was presented at the 56th annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture in Toronto, Canada.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.