"A Fundamental Turn Toward Concurrency in Software"

Jack Diederich jack at performancedrivers.com
Fri Jan 7 23:42:32 CET 2005

On Fri, Jan 07, 2005 at 01:35:46PM -0800, aurora wrote:
> Hello!
> 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.

It got most things right, AMD & Intel are moving towards multiple cores on
a chip so programmers will adapt.  I don't see this as a big deal, the current
trend is rack farms of cheap boxes for heavy computing needs.  Multi-core CPUs
will help those kinds of applications more than single threaded ones.  Existing
threaded apps don't have to worry at all.

His picking on Intel to graph CPU speeds was a mistake (I'll be generous and
not say deliberate).  Intel screwed up and pursued a megahertz-at-all-costs
strategy for marketing reasons.  AMD didn't worry about MHz, just about CPUs
that did more work and so AMD is eating Intel's lunch.  Intel has abandoned
their "faster" line of processors and is using their CPUs that are slower in
MHz but get more work done.   So the author's "MHz plateau" graph isn't all
Moore's law breaking down, it is the result of Intel's marketing dept breaking


ps, I started a python corner to my blog, http://jackdied.com/python
    Only one substantial post yet, and the RSS feed isn't up, but there ya go.

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