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To overcome challenges stemming from high power densities and thermal hot spots in microprocessors, multicore computing platforms have emerged as the ubiquitous computing platform from servers down through embedded systems. Unfortunately, providing multiple cores does not directly translate into increased performance or better energy efficiency for most applications. The burden is placed on software developers and tools to find and exploit coarse-grain parallelism to effectively make use of the abundance of computing resources provided by these systems. Concurrent applications are much more complex to develop than their single-threaded ancestors, thus software development tools will be critical to help programmers create both high performance and correct software. This article provides an overview of parallelism and compiler technology to help the community understand the software development challenges and opportunities for multicore signal processors.
Date of Publication: November 2009