CGO / EPIC-7

Today, I gave a talk about Integrity Virtual Machines at the EPIC-7 workshop of the CGO-2008 conference. The audience was smaller than I hoped, but quite interesting. This was a good occasion to make new contacts, and to renew contacts with old friends. After 7 years working on Integrity VM, this was actually the first time I talked publicly about it outside of HP (although Todd Kjos gave a talk at Gelato in April 2007).

There were a number of other interesting talks. Rohit Bhatia presented Tukwila, the next generation Itanium. I did not learn much during this talk, but it was interesting to see the Intel take on this processor (I usually only hear the HP side of the story). This somewhat renewed my confidence about this platform. It’s a very interesting processor for a programmer, but that alone has never been a guarantee of success. Clearly, the initial expectations for Itanium were set a little bit too high, but it’s interesting to see that Intel doesn’t give up. And hearing them boast about Tukwila as “the fastest processor in the industry” opens some perspectives.

One thing that I’m still wondering about is how we can explain customers why Itanium will stick at relatively modest number of cores (e.g. four), whereas Larrabee will feature a much larger number (16 or 24 according to Wikipedia). Hmmm…

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