My mate Paul has had a couple of articles recently on the rise of multi-processor computers. In particular, there was one on the difficulty of programming them.
Well, yesterday I read on Slashdot about a company called RapidMind, that has a technology which allows developers to write standard C++ code, but using data types from the RapidMind library which do their work in parallel, on a variety of architectures.
These include GPUs from ATI and Nvidia, Cell processors from IBM (as found in the PlayStation 3) or multi-core chips from Intel and AMD.
There's a nice video of one of their chaps giving a talk about it. The discussion is vaguely technical, but should be reasonably clear. In any case, the demo of 16,000 autonomous chickens and other examples starting at around the 32 minute mark are definitely worth a look!