Talk Video: Welcome to the Jungle

Last month in Kansas City I gave a talk on “Welcome to the Jungle,” based on my recent essay of the same name (sequel to “The Free Lunch Is Over”) concerning the turn to mainstream heterogeneous distributed computing and the end of Moore’s Law.

Perceptive Software has now made the talk available online [EOA: the talk itself starts six minutes in]:

Welcome to the Jungle

In the twilight of Moore’s Law, the transitions to multicore processors, GPU computing, and HaaS cloud computing are not separate trends, but aspects of a single trend – mainstream computers from desktops to ‘smartphones’ are being permanently transformed into heterogeneous supercomputer clusters. Henceforth, a single compute-intensive application will need to harness different kinds of cores, in immense numbers, to get its job done. – The free lunch is over. Now welcome to the hardware jungle.

I hope you enjoy it.

Warning: It’s two hours (with Q&A) because of the broad and deep material. There’s a nice pause point between major sections at the one-hour mark that makes it convenient to split it into two one-hour lunchtime brownbag viewings.

10 thoughts on “Talk Video: Welcome to the Jungle

  1. @pjmlp: You can do either. There are benefits to statically picking your intended target core types (specifically, instruction sets) and generate optimized code for those (fat binary), and still be able to schedule them dynamically across any combination of such cores that happens to be available. That will generally work because the number of targets for a single application binary is small and likely to stay reasonably small (e.g., you’d still probably ship different binaries for ARM and x86). But if you want to use arbitrary kinds of cores with the same binary, then you’d resort to JIT or similar (e.g., to cover “all GPUs” as a single target). It’s a tradeoff.

  2. Very nice presentation.

    One question about the way you answered the last guy. Somehow you did not address the situation where the deployment is fully heterogeneous, in scenarios where you don’t have control about the target processors.

    Are you suggesting the use of fat binaries for such scenarios, or the type of dynamic loading with custom processor algorithms as it was quite common in the late 90’s?

    Somehow this seems a step back on how to handle heterogeneous scenarios, as it does not scale, at least with the current type of technologies we have available.

  3. These days when I am selecting video with platform reach in mind I go for MPEG 4 (.mp4) files. Flash I find is a security and performance nightmare. It’s also a no-go on iOS, and that’s a big deal for me as I run Windows, OS X and iOS.

  4. @Tom @Herb: What’s so wrong with flash that it should be boycotted? Have I been being abused by it in some way I’m not aware of? Also,does HTML5 have any bearing on the subject?

  5. Thanks for the link. I will try to watch it. My connection at home sucks (will be better in a few months but right now this is a shame so close to Munich, we only have 384 kbit/s) but maybe I can watch it somewhere else.
    I already read your article “Welcome to the jungle”. Fantastic article and I agree that distributed and parallel programming will be much more important in the programmers toolbox than they are now. Many haven’t realized it yet but it is god to know that many programming languages are moving in the right direct, like C++11 (with threads, futures, etc) or libraries like TBB, Java with lambdas and parallel collections with Java 8, Scala with parallel collections (since 2.9) and frameworks like Akka.
    All those developments on the hardware and the new C++11 standard made C++ interesting again and I am currently reading Nicolai Josutti’s 2nd edition of his book about the standard library. Even for a (mostly) Java guy like me it helps to learn as much as possible about how concurrency is done in other languages like C++11, Scala, Clojure, etc.

    Exciting times indeed for a developer who likes concurrency!

    I also love your posts about “Effective Concurrency”. Any plans to make this a book?


  6. @Tom: Sorry, I have no control over the technologies they used, and I feel similarly about Flash (I use Flash blockers by default). I didn’t expect the talk to be available online at all, so having it in any format is already sort of a bonus.

  7. Hi Herb,

    I’d love to watch this, but is there perchance a downloadable version? We run a Adobe Flash free household here?

    Kind regards,


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