The fourth of our eight great ideas is Performance via Parallelism, and for many years we have exploited Instruction Level Parallelism (ILP) in implementing the fifth great idea, Performance via Pipelining. Much effort was placed on identifying, exposing, and exploiting ILP, including techniques for finding ILP that might not have been directly visible by cursory examination of the code. This effort was so effective that pipelines remain pretty much universal in modern general purpose computers.
While we recognize the importance of modern pipelines, some people believe that we have reached the limit in exploitation of ILP, and we have turned to other types of parallelism to further enhance performance. These other types of parallelism are the focus of this assignment.
For your second paper, you are to identify and describe two additional types of parallelism used to increase performance. You must convey both what constitutes each type of parallelism, and how each works to enhance performance. Since many people seemed to want more concrete guidelines, I will provide some:
A question came up about what types of parallelism I’m looking for in the second paper. The setup for the paper is about instruction-level parallelism as something that a compiler can exploit to enhance performance, and that it is quite possible that computer scientists have exposed as much ILP over the past decades as they are going to. So we need to understand ILP in order to understand other levels of parallelism, and those are the classes of parallelism required for this assignment. If you look at ‘parallelism’ in the index of your text, along with ‘instruction-level’ you will find ‘data-level’, ‘process-level’, and ‘task-level’ also listed. These are not all of the possibilities, another appropriate topic listed in the text index is ‘thread parallelism’ for example, but if you want to ensure that you are choosing topics appropriate to this course, a class named xxxxxxx-level parallelism is a safe bet. (For what it’s worth, if you look you can find many references on ‘thread-level parallelism’ so it fits this xxxxxxx-level parallelism naming convention.)
Also, from another great question, you are welcome to use the ones listed in your text, but if you choose to do so, be sure that you have citations apart from your text. I want you to read papers. Your sources must therefore come from outside the regular course material.
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