Today I got an invite to a press briefing here in Wellington later this week, with James Reinders (Director, Chief Software Evangelist, Intel) and Nicolas Erdody (Director, Open Parallel Ltd). The invite also mentioned the upcoming Multicore World conference, happening here in Wellington in March 2012:
The World is Going Parallel and New Zealand Software Company has a Leading Role in it
Since the advent of computers, and later of the internet, the processing of massive amounts of data has been growing. Industry has been increasing computing power for decades, but the trend towards increasing speed of processing has reached the physical barrier. Vendors cannot put more processing power into a chip, without overheating it. To solve the problem, vendors changed the architecture, building more processors into a single chip, calling them multicore chips. These new chips entered the mainstream market a few years ago, with all vendors currently selling them.
New multicore chips are also more power efficient, and the potential is basically unlimited for the number of cores that you can put on them. The potential processing power is absolutely unheard of, which will not only allow users to do thing faster, but also add more, and new, conditions to the current problems. Now it is possible to imagine applications that have not been possible before.
However, this new and exciting scenario comes with a challenge. Since the inception of computers, software has been written with a single central processing unit (CPU) in a chip. To exploit the potential of multicore chips, software needs to be written thinking in parallel. Parallel programming is not a new concept, but it is more difficult to write. It is estimated than less than 10% of all the software programmers worldwide are able to deal with parallel programming. In the next 10-15 years, there will be huge opportunities to either deal with all the legacy code written from decades of sequential programming, or to create new software that will take full advantage of thousands of cores in a chip, plus all the range of services, solutions and systems integration in between.
This is an ideal ground for the fertile mind of the technologists, software communities and researchers within NZ. It's mainstream but it's a niche new technology. It's already taken advantage of the skills available in NZ, and parallel computing will be essential to process the vast quantities of data produced by the SKA telescope, a global project that NZ is key part of it. James Reinders (Director, Chief Software Evangelist, Intel) and Nicolas Erdody (Director, Open Parallel Ltd) will be discussing the opportunities and challenges that Multicore presents in a press conference this Wednesday 21 September 2011.
Open Parallel, a NZ based company specialised in Software for Multicore and Parallel Computing has been working with Intel since early 2010. To increase awareness about multicore and to present the ecosystem that NZ already has in place to unveil the potential of multicore chips, Open Parallel organises Multicore World 2012 - a global conference about Multicore Technology (software and hardware) as part of its vision to establish New Zealand as a centre of excellence for multicore and parallel computing. Multicore World will be held 27 - 28 March 2012 at the Wellington Town Hall. The main goal of the conference is to provide IT decision makers being C-level executives as well as software community leaders with the knowledge and the connections they need to make valid business and technology decisions in terms of their multicore software and hardware requirements over the coming years.
James Reinders and Nicolas Erdody will be presenting about Multicore, Parallelism, the SKA project and Multicore World in a press conference in Wellington
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