2008/03/16

Multicore Expo

I'd gladly trade several days of labor, or make some similar barter arrangement, for the opportunity to attend the 1 - 3 April 2008 Multicore Expo in Santa Clara, CA, USA.

Meeting, talking with and listening to all those people involved with or interested in multicore and manycore computing would be exhilarating, mind-expanding and exhausting. If Justin K and I both went to the expo, we might even get the FS3 project off dead center by making some connections that would lead to sponsors for at least the alpha stage of FS3 Obsidian.

If you don't understand or even realize there is a critical need for a new parallel programming paradigm related to the multicore/manycore issue, read the recent article by Douglas Eadline. In the article he explains in relatively non-technical terms why the computing industry is facing a critical point in parallel programming:

"...Picture yourself a car company. So you have this new kind of super fast (yet safe) car. These cars can run on the existing roads, but only at a fraction of their top speeds. In order to run at full speed you need better roads. Without better roads customers have no reason to buy those new super cars you are building. Of course, it is not your problem, because you make the best damn car the world has ever seen, some one else should build the roads. As a captain of industry, you have a choice, either help build the roads for your new car or just push ahead and make as many cars as you can and hope that people buy them. What would you do?

If you are the multi-billion dollar IT industry you stick you head in the sand and just keep making cars. It is after all, not your problem. That seems to be the attitude of almost every company with a vested interest in the computing market. There was a recent announcement indicating Intel and Microsoft have put up $10 million to fund research in parallel software. Hah! I'm going to laugh harder this time HAH, HAH! Ever [hear] the phase p*****g in the ocean, well this is more like throwing a match into the sun. We need more -- much more...."

One focus for me if I was somehow able to attend the Multicore Expo would be learning more about the 'sky is falling' issue for multicore computing for the masses, as well as making connections for follow-up regarding FS3 sponsorship. It would be instructive to hear in person what a wide range of people in the high productivity computing (HPC) industry think about that topic. My feeling is that the sky is falling in this case, but since I'm not a long-time industry veteran, I'm highly interested in the opinions and reasons of those veterans.

If any company, organization or individual with some spare change laying around wants to send a representative to the Multicore Expo, please contact me in the next week or two (bwaldron [att] gmail {dott} com). I'd be happy to be that representative...

*****

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