[erlang-questions] FPGA coming around the corner

Joe Armstrong <>
Fri Jan 7 10:45:13 CET 2011


On Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 5:40 AM, Edmond Begumisa
<> wrote:
>> If the time is to come, then surely this is the *right time* for the
>> Erlang/OTP 'product' to step up and meet the challenges and mindset that
>> bind us daily owing to the chosen OO style forced onto us by C++/Java.
>
> On a related note: I'm curious -- why is it that many seem unaware of
> Erlang's advantages with multi-core? Even vocal MP experts that are
> advocating for the change in mindset you describe and the need for
> programmers to be aware of the disconnect and quickly adapt -- these
> advocates don't sound like they're aware of Erlang (at least they don't
> mention Erlang in their talks).

Reminds me of a weird meeting at work a few weeks ago:

They: But why doesn't it go 60 times faster (on a tile64) - it's
          only 40 times faster?
Me:    Well are you happy about the times 40 or sad about the fact it's
          not 60?
They: Well happy, but it would be nice if it were 60
Me:    We're working on it

Our domain of discourse, is "why we don't get a factor N speedup on
N processors" - my feeling is that in many places the domain of
discourse is "how can we go faster than times one on two processors
and not slower"



>
> A blog post recently alerted me to a talk Maurice Herlihy gave back in 2007
> entitled "Taking Concurrency Seriously: New Directions in Multiprocessor
> Synchronization."
>
> http://www.stanford.edu/class/ee380/Abstracts/070502.html
> http://ee380.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/videologger.php?target=070509-ee380-300.asx
>
> To quote him "... Computer architecture is about to undergo, if not another
> revolution, then a vigorous shaking-up. The major chip manufacturers have,
> for the time being, simply given up trying to make processors run faster...
> As a result, system designers and software engineers can no longer rely on
> increasing clock speed to hide software bloat. Instead, they must somehow
> learn to make effective use of increasing parallelism. This adaptation will
> not be easy. Conventional synchronization techniques based on locks and
> conditions are unlikely to be effective in such a demanding environment..."
>
> He then goes on the show some pretty fancy Java code illustrating concurrent
> data structures and a concept he calls "transactional boosting" in an
> attempt to deal with the disconnect without burdening the programmer "too
> much."
>
> There are a number of more recent talks on that Standford page with the same
> tone...
>
> http://www.stanford.edu/class/ee380/previous.html
>
> They all sound panic-stricken and suggest there is currently no complete
> viable solution out-there yet to programming for the multi-core age that
> don't burden the programmer. These are some very smart people. But when I
> saw these videos recently I thought "Have they not heard of Erlang? If not
> why not?"

This question is asked to the the wrong group, I guess most people in
this group know that Erlang is (according to the wikipedia)

"a Chinese God with a third truth-seeing eye in the middle of his forehead."

/Joe



>
> - Edmond -
>
>
> On Fri, 07 Jan 2011 13:41:14 +1100, Steve Davis
> <> wrote:
>
>>
>> A very interesting article... and all the more interesting because it
>> lines up with Joe's predictions.
>>
>>
>> http://www.kurzweilai.net/scientists-squeeze-more-than-1000-cores-onto-computer-chip
>>
>>  > “FPGAs are not used within standard computers because they are fairly
>>  > difficult to program, but their processing power is huge while their
>>  > energy consumption is very small because they are so much quicker, so
>>  > they are also a greener option,” said researcher Dr. Wim
>>  > Vanderbauwhede.
>>
>>  > While most computers sold today now contain more than one processing
>>  > core, which allows them to carry out different processes
>>  > simultaneously, traditional multi-core processors must share access
>>  > to one memory source, which slows the system down. The scientists in
>>  > this research were able to make the processor faster by giving each
>>  > core a certain amount of dedicated memory.
>>
>> If the time is to come, then surely this is the *right time* for the
>> Erlang/OTP 'product' to step up and meet the challenges and mindset that
>> bind us daily owing to the chosen OO style forced onto us by C++/Java.
>>
>> /s
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> erlang-questions (at) erlang.org mailing list.
>> See http://www.erlang.org/faq.html
>> To unsubscribe; mailto:
>>
>
>
> --
> Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> erlang-questions (at) erlang.org mailing list.
> See http://www.erlang.org/faq.html
> To unsubscribe; mailto:
>
>


More information about the erlang-questions mailing list