“Approaching Multicore Conference” Live Blog

I am tuned into the Virtual Conference from work. I hope no one from work actually reads this.

Virtual Conference

The technology is pretty cool. It is a fancy flash based web site. They have an Auditorium where they do presentations, chat rooms and an Exhibit hall.
The Exhibit Hall has mini sites for various vendors. Each vendor has an intro video, information kiosk where you can download data sheets and white papers, and some have a give away. For the give away, they want a survey.

I have no illusions; every click and mouse hover is tracked.

Multicore Presentations

Every single presentation starts with the same slides: clocks have topped out, power goes up with smaller geometries, hardware is doing multicore, multicore software is hard.

We get that. Everyone who is attending is there because they get the fact mutlicore is harder. We want answers and solutions, not the same thing again and again.

The Multicore 101 was mostly the same slides, yet again.

I missed most of the key note. I will try and catch it later, but I had a meeting.

Mentor Graphics and Wind River keep pushing virtualization with multicore. They are linked together, but I do not see it. It seems like if we pay for two cores, I want to fully use both cores. The idea is you put a virtualing RTOS that will schedule the running OS on a given core. The higher levels are not multicore aware.  It sounds like a lot of wasted cycles for code portability.

Chats

There are a number of “sponsored” chats. The first was pretty lively.

There is an assumption that seems like a given to everyone in the room. A multicore system will use Linux SMP. To me that is not a given. The question was asked, “what is the best Linux”. Maybe none is my answer.

I did ask about interrupts. I am the only person asking. People were discussing cache and low level details. Am I missing a bigger picture.

A big BOO goes to the Intel sponsored chat. No one from Intel was in the chat room. Sad.

I asked in one of the forums about keeping legacy code versus a complete rewrite. They sort of missed the point of my question. I wanted an opinion on what was more important to everyone. Is it being able to port old code, even if the mulitcore performance is not fully utilized? Or is a great clean multicore solution compelling enough to cause a rewrite?

No real answer. It is a very difficult question.

Update…

There was some interesting chat in the Tools chat room. I tried to pump up event driven programming. I hope someone checks out the link to this blog. Any comments would be nice, even if they are flames.

I thought the panel discussion was a bit flat.

The last chat was on avoiding the “Train Wreck”. No one there piped up and said, “Yes, I have used X to build system Y and we have shipped ZZZ devices with great success.” The room was full of semi company marketing people and folks like me, trying to learn something new.

Conclusion

Worth the time, other than the stale introductory stuff. At some point the presenters need to realize they are talking to engineers. We all know why we are there.

Were you there? What do you think? Please leave a comment.

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2 comments on ““Approaching Multicore Conference” Live Blog

  1. […] am updating so this shows up again after the virtual conference […]

  2. […] thing is, in the chat rooms at the Multicore virtual conference, it was assumed that the OS was Linux. Yes, all of the hardware vendors will supply a Linux BSP […]

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