Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Growing Need for Parallel Programming in the Mainstream

The Economist article "Parallel bars" points out the need for parallel computing and how the computer industry as a whole is failing to fulfill its potential. They also discuss it in their Babbage podcast. An excerpt of their podcast discusses it beautifully.

  • "There has been so little progress in parallel programming, even though multicore chips have been widespread for five years."

  • "What used to be quite an obscure programming problem for supercomputers and academics, which is 'how to you reliably and efficiently take advantage of massively parallel computers', is starting to become a real problem on the desktop."

  • "If software doesn't take advantage of these cores, then chip makers can go on pushing out chips that have more and more processing cores inside them but the software won't be getting any faster, and we'll have this growing gap between what my computer is theoretically capable of and what it actually does."