By Joab Jackson, IDG News Service
March 18, 2010 08:23 PM ET
With chip makers continuing to increase the number of cores they include on each new generation of their processors, perhaps it's time to rethink the basic architecture of today's operating systems, suggested Dave Probert, a kernel architect within the Windows core operating systems division at Microsoft.
The current approach to harnessing the power of multicore processors is complicated and not entirely successful, he argued. The key may not be in throwing more energy into refining techniques such as parallel programming, but rather rethinking the basic abstractions that make up the operating systems model.
Today's computers don't get enough performance out of their multicore chips, Probert said. "Why should you ever, with all this parallel hardware, ever be waiting for your computer?" he asked.
Probert made his presentation on Wednesday at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Universal Parallel Computing Research Center.
Probert is on the team working on the next generation of Windows, though he said the ideas in this talk did not represent any actual work his team is doing for Microsoft. In fact, he noted that many of the other architects on the Windows kernel development team don't even agree with his views.
For the talk, he set out to define what a new operating system, if designed by scratch, would look like today. He concluded it would be quite different from Windows or Unix. ..
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Microsoft architect Dave Probert sees tomorrow's OS kernel acting more like a hypervisor
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