Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 25th Sep 2009 23:12 UTC, submitted by Still Lynn
Microsoft Most of us are probably aware of Singularity, a research operating system out of Microsoft Research which explored a number of new ideas, which is available as open source software. Singularity isn't the only research OS out of Microsoft; they recently released the first snapshot of a new operating system, called Barrelfish. It introduces the concept of the multikernel, which treats a multicore system as a network of independent cores, using ideas from distributed systems.
Thread beginning with comment 386393
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by Ed W. Cogburn on Sat 26th Sep 2009 07:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
Ed W. Cogburn
Member since:
2009-07-24

You don't think the hardware will adapt?


Can it, while remaining compatible with the existing architecture? Intel/AMD aren't going to break the backwards compatibility of the x86 arch without a darn good reason. Keep in mind that backwards compatibility is largely why x86 has been so successful.

And if this were easy, wouldn't it already have been done by now? After all, message-passing is also at the heart of the microkernel concept, an idea that has been around for decades but has gone absolutely nowhere because of, as the GP sarcastically pointed out, bad performance.

I suspect they're going to need some hard proof of really dramatic improvements before Intel/AMD will pay attention to them.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai
by kad77 on Sat 26th Sep 2009 18:57 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai"
kad77 Member since:
2007-03-20

I never mentioned x86, you did.

As you can see in the very graphic inlined in the article, this technology was developed for heterogeneous architectures.

Obviously, non-x86 only.

My point that some hardware could well evolve to take advantage of this technology stands unmolested.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by kaiwai
by Ed W. Cogburn on Sun 27th Sep 2009 19:23 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai"
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

I never mentioned x86, you did.


It was mentioned down-thread that the dev platform for this was an AMD system.

As you can see in the very graphic inlined in the article, this technology was developed for heterogeneous architectures.


I don't know which inlined graphic you're referring to, but now having read parts of this:

http://www.barrelfish.org/barrelfish_sosp09.pdf

the 64bit flavor of x86 is clearly a prime focus of their work (they also mention Sun's "Niagra" system, but I don't know what that is). They explicitly mention AMD Opteron and Intel Nehmalem(sp?). Barrelfish currently only works on x86-64 systems, though an ARM port is also in the works (they say).

I don't think you understand correctly what they mean by "heterogeneous" here. They're also referring to systems with cores of the same ISA, but just running at different speeds for example.

My point that some hardware could well evolve to take advantage of this technology stands unmolested.


They seem to be claiming that the hardware is headed in this direction anyway, driven largely by the needs of multicore *server* systems. Section 2 of that pdf is a very interesting read. High-end server hardware is not something I'm familar with, so my original post may be wrong about the assumption that these changes would require incompatible changes to the x86 ISA.

Reply Parent Score: 1