HP has located a few friends, including Intel and AMD, to help it deal with the multi-core processor morass. The hardware vendor has invited chums to join its new Multi-Core Optimization Program (MOP), which will support work that makes software run better across chips with numerous processor cores. HP's interest in this area …
Very important, but...
Just yesterday I was discussing with a PhD student that better compilers/debuggers etc were the way to go in utilizing multicore processors for many applications. In essence this was how many users of our old Cray SV1e and even older J932 used to parallellize their code: just set the compiler to aggressive optimization and it would do most things for you. Even then, prudent insertion of compiler pragmas was occasionally needed. In the same discussion we noted that there are many cases in which it is extremely hard for the compiler to parallellize. Examples are algorithms based on flood-filling using e.g. priority queues used in image analysis and computer graphics. These algorithms are so intrinsically sequential it takes real redesign to parallellize.
Bottom line: yes, compilers can do a great deal, but generally only if the parallellization is straightforward. Therefore, programmers WILL need to acquire new skills (including proof of correctnes of concurrent (multithreaded) programs)
There is a solution...
We as a company have been using a tool that deals with the multicore problems.
This technology is mature and in service with our customers.
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