Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Language Challenges for Multi-Core Processors

In Jim Turley's recent Silicon Insider, he talked about multi-core processors.
But new compilers and debuggers won't be enough. We're facing a change to new programming languages. Current languages like C don't express parallelism well. Compilers can identify threads of execution or independent constructs and extract some small amounts of parallelism here and there, but the language itself prevents large-scale parallelism. If we're to exploit these new multi-processor chips, we're going to have to swallow hard, roll up our sleeves, and tackle a truly Herculean task.

Hmm. Languages that express parallelism well. I wonder where I can find one of those?

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Do you get to talk? Do we really listen?

These days, my title is "Senior Product Strategist". I work in engineering and sit with all of the developers but I don't write code any more (ah, the good old days). My focus is on figuring out what we should do next. Did any of you ever watch the original first version of the TV show "Connections"? It was all about how innovation isn't a continuous linear stream. It usually happens when someone who works in one field hears about something being done in a completely unrelated field, puts 2 and 2 together, and comes up with the next big thing in their field. I'd like to be able to do the same but I'll take just coming up with some interesting ideas.

My goal is to get to talk to you (and I mean "you" in the massively plural sense) and find out what you do, how you use our stuff now, and what would allow you to do things you can't do now. I can see the tagline now: "At NI, we make the impossible a little bit easier".

There are various things we do to try and figure out what we should be working on. We do visits, call people on the phone, send out web surveys, read comments made by seminar attendees, have meetings at NIWeek, show early concepts of what we are looking to do, read the NI Forums, Info-LabVIEW, and your LabVIEW blogs.

So here's a question: If I were sitting next to you right now, what would you want to talk about? Would you talk about things that you don't talk about now? Or would it just be stuff you already have told us in any of the places mentioned above?

My job is to listen, how can I best get you to talk? Comment below or email me at joel.sumner (AT) ni.com

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