Rambles around computer science

Diverting trains of thought, wasting precious time

Wed, 21 Apr 2010

Multi-core madness

A while back I posted a rant to our netos mailing list a while ago, which I think says enough about my attitude to multi-core programming research that I should blog it here.

My rant was prompted by the following call for papers for a special issue of IEEE software.

“Software for the Multiprocessor Desktop: Applications, Environments, Platforms”

Guest Editors:

Multicore processors, like Nehalem or Opteron, and manycore processors, like Larrabee or GeForce, are becoming a de facto standard for every new desktop PC. Exploiting the full hardware potential of these processors will require parallel programming. Thus, many developers will need to parallelize desktop applications, ranging from browsers and business applications to media processors and domain-specific applications. This is likely to result in the largest rewrite of software in the history of the desktop. To be successful, systematic engineering principles must be applied to parallelize these applications and environments.


My rant: what desktop applications actually are there which need to take advantage of this wonderful new hardware? The CfP eagerly suggests rewriting a shedload of existing software, but that seems like a giant waste of effort -- at least in the common case where the existing software runs perfectly well enough on not-so-many-core hardware. This is true of pretty much all existing desktop software as far as I can see.

There might be new application classes out there, or new compute-intensive features that'd benefit existing applications, but that wouldn't be rewriting, and in any case the CfP doesn't identify any....

[/research] permanent link contact

Powered by blosxom

validate this page