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Multicore Requires Os Rework, Windows Architect Advises

By Computerworld

March 29, 2010



The basic architecture of modern operating systems (OSes) may need to be rethought in order to accommodate multicore processors, according to a presentation Microsoft Windows architect Dave Probert recently made at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Universal Parallel Computing Research Center. He cited the inefficiency of desktop programs' usage of multiple cores, and stressed that developers must employ parallel programming methods to squeeze the most performance out of multicore processors.

"Really, the question is, Not how do we do parallel, but what do we do with all these transistors?" Probert noted. He reasoned that dropping abstractions such as user mode and kernel mode may be beneficial to the OS community, giving the OS the function of a hypervisor, which acts as a buffer between the virtual machine and the actual hardware. The programs themselves would assume many resource management tasks.

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