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Parallel programmers not prepared for the glorious revolution

Intel goes post-Communist with multicore
Tue Nov 27 2007, 12:28

INTEL RECKONS barely one per cent of software programmers are prepared to face the challenge of parallel programming, which the hardware giant (unsurprisingly) reckons is the future of development.

Anwar Ghuloum, a Principal Engineer in Chipzilla's technology lab says in a new blog post that "Parallel programming has been whatever you'd call that next thing smalller than a niche... a reasonable estimate is that one per cent... of programmers, at best, have "some" experience with parallel programming."

That doesn't bode well for a future which is increasingly massively parallel - not only is Intel increasing the number of cores on its chips from four today up to hundreds within years, but programmers looking to harness the power of GPGPU are already having to fight the issues of code executing on hundreds of processors at once.

This would be one of the main reasons Intel, Nvidia and AMD are all desperately trying to find ways to make the process easier - including writing middleware like the latest Intel compilers, which automagically parallelolise code.

Anwar reckons the silicon necessities of processor development - going more parallel rather than faster - is creating something of a 'velvet revolution' in software development. We can only dream of the glorious images of Paul Otellini in post-Communist fatigues. µ


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