Multi-core programming with automatic parallelisation

Advanced Programming Specialist Group event

Thursday 10th January 2008, 6.00pm

The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2 7HA. Nearest Underground stations Covent Garden, Charing Cross.

Tim Harris, Microsoft Research, Cambridge U.K.

The "free lunch" of exponentially increasing sequential software performance is said to be over: all major processor manufacturers are chasing increasing degrees of hardware parallelism instead of ever-higher clock speeds. We need parallel software to make good use of these processors, but parallel programming has a notoriously steep learning curve. What can the computer science research community do to make things easier?

One tempting approach is to automatically build parallel implementations from sequential programs. This led to a lot of work in the 1980s in the functional programming community, and the exploration of data-flow processor architectures that could exploit the very fine grained parallelism that was achieved.

In this talk I'll describe some work we've been doing returning to this question and investigating whether we can achieve automatic parallelisation of software when using today's multi-core processors, showing some cases where we get free coffee, if not a free lunch.

Free, but to gain admission please email your name to our Vice-Chairman, Dr Frank Martin, at -

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View the slides for this event (PDF - 3.0 Mb)