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Multiprocessors from a software perspective

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8 Author(s)
Amarasinghe, S.P. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Stanford Univ., CA, USA ; Anderson, J.M. ; Wilson, C.S. ; Shih-Wei Liao
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Like many architectural techniques that originated with mainframes. the use of multiple processors in a single computer is becoming popular in workstations and even personal computers. Multiprocessors constitute a significant percentage of recent workstation sales, and highly affordable multiprocessor personal computers are available in local computer stores. Once again, we find ourselves in a familiar situation: hardware is ahead of software. Because of the complexity of parallel programming, multiprocessors today are rarely used to speed up individual applications. Instead, they usually function as cycle-servers that achieve increased system throughput by running multiple tasks simultaneously. Automatic parallelization by a compiler is a particularly attractive approach to software development for multiprocessors, as it enables ordinary sequential programs to take advantage of the multiprocessor hardware without user involvement. This article looks to the future by examining some of the latest research results in automatic parallelization technology

Published in:

Micro, IEEE  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

Jun 1996

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