CDT and Parallella: Multicore Debugging for the masses
Multicore hardware is quickly becoming the most realistic step towards increased computing performance. Current projections predict the availability of chips with over 64,000 cores by the end of the decade. This opens up new exciting possibilities, but also brings profound new challenges. Making parallel computing easy to use has been described as "a problem as hard as any that computer science has faced".
The goal of the Parallella project is to democratize access to parallel computing through providing an affordable multicore open hardware platform and open source tools. With every programmer soon having access to affordable and open parallel hardware the world will see an explosion of parallel programs, and with it, an unavoidable need for powerful multicore debugging tools.
In recent years the CDT's Multi-Core Debug Work Group has resolutely worked to address this ever-growing need. In this talk we will show how the many new multicore debugging features of the CDT come together to provide a debugging solution for the Parallella board using the GNU Debugger (GDB). We plan on showing a live demo where we will demonstrate traditional source-code debugging towards a 16-core or 64-core chip. Attendees will quickly notice the limitations of the standard Debug view in such contexts. We will then demonstrate how the Multicore Visualizer addresses this through graphical representation. We will address problems such as wasteful resource allocation, inefficient communication patterns, and filtering of large amounts of debugging information. Join us and take your next step towards ubiquitous parallel computing.
Slides are available here.