"A Fundamental Turn Toward Concurrency in Software"

aurora aurora00 at gmail.com
Sat Jan 8 14:52:03 EST 2005

Of course there are many performance bottleneck, CPU, memory, I/O, network  
all the way up to the software design and implementation. As a software  
guy myself I would say by far better software design would lead to the  
greatest performance gain. But that doesn't mean hardware engineer can sit  
back and declare this as "software's problem". Even if we are not writing  
CPU intensive application we will certain welcome "free performace gain"  
coming from a faster CPU or a more optimized compiler.

I think this is significant because it might signify a paradigm shift.  
This might well be a hype, but let's just assume this is future direction  
of CPU design. Then we might as well start experimenting now. I would just  
throw some random ideas: parallel execution at statement level, look up  
symbol and attributes predicitively, parallelize hash function, dictionary  
lookup, sorting, list comprehension, etc, background just-in-time  
compilation, etc, etc.

One of the author's idea is many of today's main stream technology (like  
OO) did not come about suddenly but has cumulated years of research before  
becoming widely used. A lot of these ideas may not work or does not seems  
to matter much today. But in 10 years we might be really glad that we have  

> aurora <aurora00 at gmail.com> writes:
>> Just gone though an article via Slashdot titled "The Free Lunch Is
>> Over: A  Fundamental Turn Toward Concurrency in Software"
>> [http://www.gotw.ca/publications/concurrency-ddj.htm]. It argues that
>> the  continous CPU performance gain we've seen is finally over. And
>> that future  gain would primary be in the area of software concurrency
>> taking advantage  hyperthreading and multicore architectures.
> Well, another gain could be had in making the software less wasteful
> of cpu cycles.
> I'm a pretty experienced programmer by most people's standards but I
> see a lot of systems where I can't for the life of me figure out how
> they manage to be so slow.  It might be caused by environmental
> pollutants emanating from Redmond.

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