I realize that I'm biased since I happen to think that multicore design is the most exciting thing out there. In my opinion, whoever solves the multicore/parallel programming problem will dominate computing for the rest of the century. The rest of the industry, including Intel, IBM, AMD, APPLE, etc... would flock like migratory birds to come and worship at your feet.
The new company is entering the public eye with $17 million in funding and a leadership roster that includes former executives and tech guys from Sun, VMWare, NVIDIA, and NetApp. PeakStream's Chief Scientist is Prof. Pat Hanrahan of Stanford, who was formerly involved with Stanford's stream processing research endeavor, the Brook project. The Brook project's work on using GPUs as stream processors formed the foundation on which PeakStream has built their newly announced product.
My point is that there are very few new multicore startups and I think that the reason is not that too many of them failed in the past but that only a few have had anything really interesting or disruptive to offer. It remains that there is a big problem that needs to be solved right now and whoever solves it will grab a lion share of the CPU market in this century.
Eh, it is really not that bad.
IMO there's a lot of room for improvement on the tools side. I don't think a new architecture is needed/warranted given the improvement we could get just from better programming models and tools.
Multicores seem like a bad hack to me - a stop gap until chip speeds increase. A single core has to be the most efficient.
When everything is moving onto the web, consumers don't have much of a need to multicore processors. Maybe in high end db servers or something :/
The whole engineering/design phase would take about two years. After that, you enter the marketing and production phase which will require several busloads of dough but that's not my department.