[Openmcl-devel] Speed, compilers and multi-core processors

Alexander Repenning ralex at cs.colorado.edu
Tue May 19 05:05:25 PDT 2009

not so fast ;-)

The "how can we make use of multiple cores" is currently on the the  
hottest funding topics supported by NSF, DOE, Microsoft, .....

Perhaps it is the Lisp way to look at architectures such as the x86  
and see mostly limitations when indeed there are plenty of  
opportunities. This is not about registers but about enabling end user  
programmers such as scientists to make use of parallelism. The big  
question is how to reconceptualize programming. One of the main  
problems is the need to overcome bad algorithmic assumptions  
especially the use of unnecessary loops. For instance, in  
Bioinformatics textbooks are full of loop based implementations of  
algorithms dealing with huge data structures such as gene sequences.  
In many cases one could replace sequential loops with parallel  

Zoom out of the low level view of things. What could multi core Lisp  
do? Look at the computational challenges that users are dealing with.  
Try to come up with new computational paradigms that could help. Lisp  
could be a great platform to explore these issues. Careful: if you can  
contribute to this you may actually receive funding.


On May 18, 2009, at 10:45 AM, Brian Mastenbrook wrote:

> On Mon, 2009-05-18 at 10:13 -0400, Glen Foy wrote:
>> My ignorance of compiler design is breathtaking, but could multi-core
>> compiler techniques be used to compensate for Intel's register- 
>> starved
>> architecture?
> In a word, no.

Prof. Alexander Repenning

University of Colorado
Computer Science Department
Boulder, CO 80309-430

vCard: http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~ralex/AlexanderRepenning.vcf

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