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thousands of CPU cores
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Date: 2008-07-14 (17:29)
From: Jon Harrop <jon@f...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] thousands of CPU cores
On Monday 14 July 2008 18:04:01 Mike Lin wrote:
> Incidentally, it occurs to me that when one is optimizing the kind of tight
> numerical loops that can really benefit from shared memory, the FIRST step,
> before parallelizing, is to do away with any heap allocations in the loop.
> The following is not a serious proposal, but just to kick the idea around -
> what is the feasibility of removing the global interpreter lock for
> segments of code which perform no heap allocations? i.e. what besides the
> GC is stopping us?

I have had similar ideas but I think it would be much wiser to move away from 
OCaml and start afresh. You can easily write a compiler for a subset of OCaml 
suitable for high-performance numerics using LLVM. Users can easily develop 
their numerical code with OCaml and then quote it using camlp4 to have it 
compiled at run-time. However, this only works for a tiny DSL where no 
allocations are required (you can easily improve upon OCaml by not boxing 
floats and by using value types though).

Dr Jon D Harrop, Flying Frog Consultancy Ltd.