[Beowulf] A sea of wimpy cores

Bill Rankin Bill.Rankin at sas.com
Fri Sep 17 06:11:52 PDT 2010

On Sep 17, 2010, at 7:39 AM, Hearns, John wrote:


Interesting article (more of a letter really) - to be honest when I first scanned it I was not sure of what Holzle's actual argument was.  To me, he omitted a lot of the details that makes this discussion much less black-and-white (and much more interesting) than he would contend:

1) He cites Amdahls' law, but leaves out Gustafson's.

2) Yeah, parallel programming is hard.  Deal with it.  It's helps me pay my bills.

3) While I am not a die hard FLOPS/Watt evangelist, he seems to completely ignore the power and cooling cost when discussing infrastructure costs.

The whole letter just seems like it's full of non-sequiturs and just a general gripe about processor architectures.

I think our own Doug Eadline has been beating the drum (or the alarm
bell) about multicore for some time also.

"may not be preferable to chips with faster but power-hungry cores"
Yeah - bring it on. Specialist computer rooms, flourinert cooling,
unusual word sizes, and the HPC expert kept in a windowless room full of used coffee mugs.

Wow, now *that's* an image.  On the other hand I can't help but wonder if you have just shown us the future of GPU-based computing.


Have a good weekend all,


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