How Can We Get the Most Out of Our Modern CPUs?Multi-core computers are ubiquitous. Dual and quad cores from Intel and AMD are commonplace with 8, 16 and 64 cores around the corner.
Seeing this topic generates a lot of interest, which has prompted Cincom Smalltalk™ project management to research ways to leverage this multi-core computing, with the idea of developing something that would allow users to make the most of their CPU’s power.
Rear Admiral Grace Murray-Hopper is a distinguished computer scientist. She was actually there when they took a moth out of the relays of one of the early computers. (This is where the phrase, “getting the bugs out” was coined). Admiral Murray-Hopper had a great ability to convey ideas in easy-to-grasp perspectives. She said:
“When the farmer, using a horse, could not pull out a stump, he didn’t go back to the barn for a bigger horse;he went back for another horse.”
Using this “team of horses” viewpoint, we developed our approach for simplified concurrency to leverage multi-core and grid computers. It can’t solve every concurrency problem, but where it works, it is easy to use, requires minor code changes and helps keep you out of trouble.
A “small” matter of programming …
- Most concurrency is NOT EASY.
- Concurrency problems and solutions have been studied for decades.
- Both AMD and Intel have donated money and personnel to universities that are doing concurrency research specifically with the intent of increasing market demand for their products.
- “As the power of using concurrency increases linearly, the complexity increases exponentially.”