[gambit-list] Re: We want our SMP! (with apologies to MTV)

Marc Feeley feeley at iro.umontreal.ca
Fri Jan 6 22:26:19 EST 2006

On 6-Jan-06, at 9:33 PM, Bradley Lucier wrote:

> Marc:
> My new 8-core opteron server with 16GB of ram just went online  
> today, and I want to plaaaaaaay!  When can we have a single-image,  
> multi-processor runtime? Please, pretty-please, pretty-please, huh????
> Are we there yet?
> Brad
> PS:  Are we there yet?

Gambit 2.0 had support for multiprocessors way back in 1991.  So I  
suggest you try compiling that.  All you have to do is rewrite the  
code generator (it generated M68K code).  Or you could just run it  
with a M68K emulator (it will probably still be an order of magnitude  
faster than the 128 processor BBN butterfly I was using).

Sorry I couldn't resist.

More seriously, a big problem I see with a multiprocessor runtime  
(aside from implementing it) is that there are two radically  
different ways to go about it (map Scheme threads to OS threads, or  
extend the current lightweight threads so that the Gambit thread  
scheduler can take advantage of multiple processors).  Several people  
think option 1 is the best because you get simple interoperability  
with C.  But I think the second option is more interesting because it  
is more lightweight and it allows a very high number of threads (in  
other words I think the C thread model sucks).  So I'm bound to  
displease a bunch of people whatever I do!


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