One of the dirty little secrets of computing is that the power of the processor(s) is currently way beyond our ability to program them.
It’s as if you have a V8 powered car but only feeding fuel into one cylinder. The rest of the engine’s potential is vastly underutilised.
So it is with multicore processors, which are like having 2 – 1016 (or much more) individual computers on a single chip.
Still most coding/programming is single lines of information in, single computer action out. Writing programs that not only parallel input multiple streams of instructions, ‘talk’ to each other while carrying out those instructions, and generate simultaneous outputs is, to use the vernacular, bloody, bloody difficult.
Nicolas Erdody, yet another clever immigrant who we’re lucky calls New Zealand home, recognised this issue many years ago in setting up Multicore World from 2012. The heavyweight conference’s sixth rendition, MW2017 is again taking place in Wellington on Monday 20 – Wednesday 23 February, and again is a concentration of extremely smart people, working at the leading edge of computing possibility.
As the conference brochure says, it is about:
Trends and road maps that are not in the general domain.
For this reason alone, being part of, and being able to commercially link into solving the challenge, is an opportunity not to be missed.
Apparently the Multicore World conference is the best global assemblage of brains addressing how to overcome parallel programming’s bottleneck problem. (Check out the programme of speakers here).
Of course the opportunity for some of the speakers and attendees (more than 40% of who come from outside NZ and Australia) to visit New Zealand is in itself a major enticement – but ultimately it is the concentration of talent that is in itself the main drawcard.
Erdody, CEO of Open Parallel has largely self-funded the conference, though every year its sponsorship has become more and more heavyweight – objective proof of the value seen in pulling global experts to the bottom of the world.
Much of his efforts have gone unheralded, but Erdody has a bigger objective than exploring possibilities. He also has the dream and intent to see New Zealand as world leader in multicore processor programming and spillover its applications to NZ’s core GDP generators, from primary industries to digital animation.
But what are the other reasons people should attend?
The quality of conversations at Multicore World is arguably unparalleled (pun intended) as well, and can lead to big breakthroughs.
Three years ago, ex-pat American Alex St John heard a comment at MW2014 that unstructured data can’t be compressed. The former Microsoft top shot, and programmer figured that using gaming GPU’s that he could crack this nut…and has.
Along with Matthew Simmons, they’ve formed the ever-growing Nyriad based in Cambridge (NZ) and offering hyperscale storage processing technology. They offer what is effectively ‘liquid’ data storage and movement – and could be key in the Square Kilometer Array’s need to simultaneously render massive quantities of data when this global project begins surveying the heavens.
It will be grunty and leading edge.
If people have half a mind to get along, they should – Stick will almost guarantee that any insights alone gained will more than cover the entry price. The connections and future business possibilities on top of this is simply a wonderful bonus.
(Stick enables science and tech companies to simply tell their story. Punchline, a sister company, helps clients create million dollar messages – the 2 – 10 words that describes your essence, emotively describes a value proposition)