The future is parallel

Although most of us are only running dual core computers, if you have a spare £2000 you can pickup up this G71 quad core notebook from Ausus, and if you belive the hype we will be hitting 80 cores by 2014.

While hardware plays catch up up with moore’s law, Microsoft’s next generation .NET 4 platform  will have a native concurrency run-time.  This is already available in the form of VS 2010 CTP and can be configured run with Windows 2008 Hyper-V to test out the running on virtualized multiple cores.

Parallel programming brings a host or problems for developers when it comes to debugging and diagnosing problems.  It is great to see Microsoft helping to ease this with initiatives such as PLINQ, and the interesting (albeit experimental) Transactional Memory group which looks at how code might be modelled to run as efficiently as database logic for example. 

F# will ship with VS 2010 and is a powerful functional language that is naturally immutable, compiles to .NET IL and supports erlang style message passing.


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  1. From what I was reading last week (sorry, can’t remember the link offhand), once you hit 16 cores, it’s the performance of the memory systems that make the difference, and the technology currently there just cannot keep up.

    It’ll be interesting to see what Microsoft give us to handle the software side of things in the meantime.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
    • * brightsparc says:

      Yes reading this article by embedded.com’s Jack Ganssle highlights some of the challenges. It seems under the hood the implementation might be a combination of multiple nodes connecting a few ‘in-order’ cores that play well together such as in the last Microsoft HPC Server 2008 Dawning super computer.

      | Reply Posted 10 years, 1 month ago

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