bandwidth

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Latency

Herb Sutter’s site has some interesting material about CPU architectures. His article “The Free Lunch is Over” is a bit dated-everyone should know by now that multicore is upon us-but does a good job pounding home that concurrency is the way of the future (i.e., like, now). It also has some memorable lines, like, “Cache is King,” and “Andy Giveth, and Bill Taketh Away.” I contemplate the latter every time I open up a Word document and it takes 25 seconds to appear.

What I noticed today, due to Eric Preisz’s new indexbuffer site, was that Herb has a newer presentation available, “Machine Architecture: Things Your Programming Language Never Told You.” This covers in-depth the topic of latency and how the CPU attempts to hide it. It’s worth a look if you’re at all interested in the topic; there’s material here that I hadn’t seen presented before. I skimmed over the odd things that compilers might do to code, I must admit, but overall I found it worthwhile.

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