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

Glen Foy lisp at clairvaux.org
Tue May 19 06:13:43 PDT 2009

This is a fascinating area and clearly the wave of the future.  We  
could have processors with 512 cores ten years from now.  That power  
has to be utilized.

A Lisp that focused on parallel execution would be an amazing tool.   
New worlds to conquer ...


On May 19, 2009, at 8:05 AM, Alexander Repenning wrote:

> 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  
> execution.
> 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.
> alex
> 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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