The Resurgence of Parallel Programming Languages

Thursday 12 April 2012, 6.00pm - 8.00pm

The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2E 7HA. The nearest underground stations are Covent Garden and Charing Cross.

James Hanlon for Simon McIntosh-Smith

We are grateful to James, a member of Simon McIntosh's team, for standing in at short notice.


Processor designers are increasingly exploiting parallelism as a way of turning transistors into performance. While high-end processors such as GPUs have been massively parallel for some time, this trend has now even reached the embedded SoCs within consumer electronics devices, with the latest smartphone processors sporting heterogeneous multi-core/many-core designs.

On-chip parallelism is increasing at an exponential rate in line with Moore's Law, and is presenting the biggest challenge and opportunity to software developers in a generation. New parallel programming models and languages are again in vogue as researchers seek new ways to aid the development of fast and correct massively parallel programs.

In this talk we shall review several of the recent developments in parallel programming approaches from high performance computing and embedded systems. Examples covered will include Nvidia's CUDA and Microsoft's recently announced C++ AMP. We will also include a deeper technical dive into the emerging open standard OpenCL.

About the Speaker:
Simon McIntosh-Smith is Head of the Microelectronics Research Group at the University of Bristol. Prior to joining the university he spent fifteen years in the microelectronics industry, working as a microprocessor architect for Inmos, STMicroelectronics and the first GPGPU company, Pixelfusion, before co-founding ClearSpeed Technology in 2002 as Director of Architecture and Applications. He now focuses on parallel software and hardware for high performance computing, and sits on several national and international advisory bodies in these areas. He has chaired the international Many-core and Reconfigurable Supercomputing Conference (MRSC) since 2009 and is author of a paper titled "The GPU Computing Revolution: From Multi-Core CPUs To Many-Core Graphics Processors" A Knowledge Transfer Report recently published by the London Mathematical Society and the Knowledge Transfer Network for Industrial Mathematics.

Free, but to gain admission please email your name to our Membership Secretary, Algirdas Pakstas, at


View the slides for this event (PDF 1 Mb)
The Resurgence of Parallel Programming Languages (mp3 - 15 Mb)