Recently I had attended a conference on Parallelism and Parallel Extensions in .NET 4.0. The whole concept seems to be really interesting and exciting and its all about how we effectively use CPU in multi-core systems at the level of programming. And yes, it solves the most oft come across problems in large solutions - the Performance issue.
I've just started my journey into it - exploring the whole lot of samples here:
And this is not just for .NET - and Parallelism is used in SQL as well. There are some General guidelines for Maximum degree of Parallelism in SQL Server and Degree of Parallelism concepts which you might also be interested in.
Hope you also find this interesting and exciting that can be used in your projects to improve your business as well.