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Parallelism at Microsoft PDC 2008 Conference

I’m settling into Los Angeles for the week at PDC 2008.  My goal is to attend the sessions on Parallelism, and save two that conflict and force me to choose, I hope to attend them all.

With the recent community technology preview (CTP) of Visual Studio 2010 and the concurrency features it touts (CTP of Parallel Extensions to the .NET Framework), and our recent beta program start for Intel Parallel Studio to complement this offering, it is undeniable that the Windows community is getting a big boost in attention and support for multi-core parallelism.

And it is yet another rich ground for seeing the pros and cons of managed code environments, this time for abstracting parallelism.  The good news, there is no clear winner or loser – it appears concurrent programming will do just fine in both.

This is of particular interest to me, as in discussions with engineers at Microsoft we’ve quickly found we have a mutual interest in help the ‘sameness’ of solutions be more than the ‘differences’ when comparing managed code and native code.  Not surprisingly, the challenge to the programmer is similar enough – so why should the tools and runtimes differ?

We don’t think they should.  Microsoft’s Concurrency Runtime is the first solid evidence of this – similar presentation to native and managed code, and same work-stealing algorithm under the covers.

I’ll jot down thoughts, on my blog here this week, on the sessions this week as I attend them.

First up, during the pre-conference is:

Concurrent, Multi-core Programming on Windows and .NET (pre-conference session);  David Callahan, Joe Duffy and Stephen Toub


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