Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Jul 2007 13:57 UTC, submitted by Oliver
NetBSD "The NetBSD Foundation announces that it has hired Andrew Doran to work full-time on improving symmetrical multi-processing in NetBSD. This work is made possible through a generous donation by Force10 Networks and internal funding by The NetBSD Foundation. Andrew Doran is an independent, Dublin based Unix systems consultant with special interest in building scalable systems. He has been a NetBSD developer since 1999 and is currently working on the transition from a big-lock SMP implementation to a fine-grained model, which allows multiple CPUs to execute code in kernel context simultaneously. Hiring Andrew full-time will boost work in this area, with the final result of a SMP implementation that is ready for tomorrow's multi-core-CPUs."
Thread beginning with comment 258088
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Multi-core CPUs
by Chatbox on Wed 25th Jul 2007 14:13 UTC
Chatbox
Member since:
2007-03-06

"Tomorrow's multi-core CPUs"?

They're already here...have been here for months.

Reply Score: 2

v RE: Multi-core CPUs
by predictor on Wed 25th Jul 2007 14:19 in reply to "Multi-core CPUs"
RE[2]: Multi-core CPUs
by jwwf on Wed 25th Jul 2007 14:38 in reply to "Multi-core CPUs"
jwwf Member since:
2006-01-19

"Tomorrow's multi-core CPUs"?

They're already here...have been here for months.


Maybe they meant that the current SMP implementation (which came out in 2004 if I recall) won't scale well when an average machine has, say, 16 cores, as in "Tomorrow's multi-core CPUs".

Or maybe it was just marketing fluff. Who knows.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Multi-core CPUs
by diegocg on Wed 25th Jul 2007 14:56 in reply to "Multi-core CPUs"
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

Years, if you consider SMP servers. Multicore doesn't change anything in that field like it does in desktops.

By the way, one person can't make a operative system scale well to multicore systems. It took Linux many years, many developers, and many subsystem maintainers rewritting their subsystems to make it work.

Edited 2007-07-25 14:57

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Multi-core CPUs
by jwwf on Wed 25th Jul 2007 15:24 in reply to "RE: Multi-core CPUs"
jwwf Member since:
2006-01-19

Years, if you consider SMP servers. Multicore doesn't change anything in that field like it does in desktops.

I disagree, to some degree. On the x86 side in, say, 2003, a 4-core, 4-socket box like a Compaq DL580 was a somewhat exotic beast that set you back $30k-$50k. The last 8-socket x86 box I've touched was a Compaq with 700 MHz P3 Xeons (running NT4 ;) ), and it cost about $70k.

Today, $4k buys an 8-core server and everyone is buying one. This means that SMP scalability is much more of a pressing issue in the commodity server space today than it was a few years back.

Now, way back when, of course you saw some much larger RISC boxes. But none of them were running a commodity OS.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Multi-core CPUs
by JonathanBThompson on Wed 25th Jul 2007 18:21 in reply to "RE: Multi-core CPUs"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

"Years, if you consider SMP servers. Multicore doesn't change anything in that field like it does in desktops. "

My main personal machine is a dual processor system (relatively low-end P3 system) from 1999, that has had BeOS run happily on it that entire time.

Why did I buy that thing? Why dual processor back then? Because the reality is that it cost me less to buy the hardware and processors to run dual p3-450's than it did to even upgrade a single processor to p3-500, and it has served me quite well for responsiveness under BeOS, and even quite well under XP and Win2K3, largely because it had that other processor.

In reality, there's a sweet spot for manufacturing/running costs versus performance, and depending on what you need, that may be a dual socket system, or it may be more, and that's been true in the server realm for a long time.

NetBSD is apparently long overdue to get this work done on it, and I applaud that someone is hiring someone full-time to make it happen: it greatly increases the value proposition of using NetBSD on cheaper multicore/multisocket beasts.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Multi-core CPUs
by ando on Thu 26th Jul 2007 11:19 in reply to "RE: Multi-core CPUs"
ando Member since:
2007-07-26


By the way, one person can't make a operative system scale well to multicore systems. It took Linux many years, many developers, and many subsystem maintainers rewritting their subsystems to make it work.


It will take time, but a common misconception is that we are starting essentially from scratch as was the case for FreeBSD's SMPng. SMP is something that the NetBSD developers have been working on for years now. The focus of this effort is to bring that work to fruition.

-- Andrew

Edited 2007-07-26 11:20

Reply Parent Score: 2