The impact of multicore architectures on software

After my internal PhD defense next Thursday, Michael Hind (a member of my PhD dissertation committee) will give a presentation about the impact of multicore architectures on software. Feel free to attend!

Abstract

Mainstream computer vendors have announced two dramatic changes in their future architectures. First, the clock speed and the amount of cache memory per processor will dramatically change. Namely, the exponential increase in clock frequency we've experienced over the past decades will cease to occur, and in some cases processor speeds will decrease. Also, the relative amount of cache memory for a processor will decrease. Second, there will be exponentially increasing number of processor cores on a chip.

These changes present two unprecedented challenges to the software stack:

  1. How does the software deal with the loss of single threaded performance and cache memory, and
  2. How does the software utilize the additional capabilities provided by multiple cores on a chip?

In his talk, Michael will argue why these challenges present great opportunities for software optimization and suggest some approaches to address these fundamental problems.

Biography

Michael Hind received his Ph.D. from New York University in 1991. From 1992-1998, Michael was an assistant and associate professor of computer science at the State University of New York at New Paltz. In 1998, Michael became a Research Staff Member in the Software Technology Department at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, working on the Jalapeno project, the project that produced the open source Jikes RVM. In 2000, he became the manager of the Dynamic Optimization Group at IBM Research, and in 2007, became Senior Manager of the Programming Technologies Department at IBM Research. Michael is an associate editor of ACM TACO, has served on over a dozen program committees, given talks at top universities and conferences, and co-authored over 40 publications. His research interests include adaptive optimization, program analysis, and software optimizations for multicore processors.

Logistics

The presentation is free to attend for all. It starts at 14:00h on December 13th, and will take place at the Jozef Plateauzaal (Jozef Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Gent).

Comments

Dries:

Thursday is the internal defense and that is not public. The date of my public defense has yet to be determined. I'll send an invitation for that as well.

Jim Falgout (not verified):

Dries, good luck with your PhD defense! You and Dr. Hind may be interested in a software framework I'm working on that is based on dataflow. The concept is to enable developers to create highly scalable, multi-core enabled applications without having to deal with the details of concurrency.

Check it out here and let me know what you think. It is free to download and free for academic use. The product is still in beta as we work with lighthouse customers, so we are open to suggestions on the directions of the framework.