Monday Jun 15, 2009

Glasgow Haskell Compiler successfully ported to OpenSPARC

Ben Lippmeier has been working on the native port of the Glasgow Haskell Compiler (GHC) to SPARC. The port was completed a few months back, and since then he's been using an UltraSPARC T2 system to look at thread activity and scaling as the number of threads is increased. The full details of the project are on his GHC on SPARC blog. The latest SPARC/Solaris binary can be downloaded here, although the full set of changes probably won't be available for a couple of months.

Thursday Mar 26, 2009

OpenSPARC workshop - Brussels

April 24th and 25th I'm going to be in Brussels rerunning the OpenSPARC workshop. The workshop leverages the material in the OpenSPARC Internals book, together with the OpenSPARC presentations. There's a poster with all the details (for those with acute eyesight, the poster on the left is from the December workshop!).

Tuesday Dec 16, 2008

OpenSPARC Internals available on Amazon

OpenSPARC Internals is now available from Amazon. As well as print-on-demand from lulu, and as a free (after registration) download.

Monday Nov 10, 2008

Poster for London workshop

Just got the poster for the OpenSPARC Workshop in London in December.

Wednesday Nov 05, 2008

OpenSPARC workshop in London

I'm thrilled to have been asked to present at the OpenSPARC workshop to be run in London, on December 4 and 5th. I'll be covering the 'software topics'. There's no charge for attending the workshop.

OpenSPARC presentations

As part of the OpenSPARC book, we were asked to provide slideware and to present that slideware. The details of what's available are listed on the OpenSPARC site, and are available for free from the site on

I contributed two sections. I produced the slides and did the voice over for the material on developing for CMT, the accompanying slides are also available. I also did a voice over for someone else's slides on Operating Systems for CMT (again slides available).

The recording sessions were ok, but a bit strange since it was just myself and the sound engineer working in a meeting room in Santa Clara. I get a lot of energy from live presentations, particularly the interactions with people, and I found the setup rather too quiet for my liking.

The Sun Studio presentation was relatively easy. It runs for nearly an hour, and there's a couple of places where I felt that additional slides would have helped the flow. The Operating Systems presentation was much harder as it was trying to weave a story around someone else's slide deck.

OpenSPARC Internals book

The OpenSPARC Internals book has been released. This is available as a free (after registration) pdf or as a print-on-demand book. The book contains a lot of very detailed information about the OpenSPARC processors, and my contribution was a chapter about Sun Studio, tools, and developing for CMT.

Thursday Jul 24, 2008

Haskell porting opportunity

There's an opportunity to work on improving the performance of Haskell on SPARC. The project is also going to explore using multiple threads to improve performance. Much more information is contained in the announcement.

Thursday May 22, 2008

Tonight's OpenSolaris User Group presentations

Slides for tonight's presentations are now available:

Wednesday May 21, 2008

OpenSolaris Users Group presentation topics

As I wrote earlier, I'm planning on a number of short presentations rather than a single long one. I don't know whether I'll manage all four of the sets of slides that I've prepared - I rather hope that there will be more discussion and I'll end up only doing one or two sets. Anyway the topics I've prepared are:

  • A deck of slides on my book.
  • A quick run through what I consider to be the important compiler flags, and the associated gotcha's.
  • Compiler support for parallelisation.
  • An overview of OpenSPARC.

Thursday Jan 31, 2008

Win $20,000!

Sun has announced a Community Innovation Awards Programme - basically a $1M of prize money available for various Sun-sponsored open source projects. There is an OpenSPARC programme, and the one that catches my eye is $20k for:

vi. Best Adaptation of a single-thread application to a multi-thread CMT (Chip Multi Threaded) environment

My guess is that they will expect more than the use of -xautopar -xreduction or a few OpenMP directives :) If I were allowed to enter (unfortunately Sun Employees are not) I'd be looking to exploit the features of the T1 or T2:

  • The threads can synchronise at the L2 cache level - so synchronisation costs are low
  • Memory latency is low

The upshot of this should be that it is possible to parallelise applications which traditionally have not been parallelisable because of synchronisation costs.

Funnily enough this is an area that I'm currently working in, and I do hope to have a paper accepted for the MultiExpo.

Tuesday Jan 30, 2007

Updated UltraSPARC-T1 tuning guide available

The UltraSPARC-T1 tuning guide has been updated to include information about the Cool Tools.

Wednesday Jan 24, 2007

Innovating with the OpenSPARC CPU Expert Exchange next week

The Expert Exchange on OpenSPARC is next Wednesday (31st January) at 10am PST. The URL for registration is here. The format is that a number of folks will get together and answer any (relevant ;) submitted questions. The questions and answers will appear as fast as we can type them, and a transcript will be available for those folks who were unable to make the live event. I'll be attending to field questions on the Cool Tools.

Wednesday Jan 10, 2007

Direct link for net talk

Thanks to the folks who work on nettalk, I now have a direct link to the programme on OpenSPARC, with my 5 minute discussion of the Cool Tools.

The sign-up for the expertexchange session is online. It's scheduled for 31st January between 10 & 11 am PST.


Darryl Gove is a senior engineer in the Solaris Studio team, working on optimising applications and benchmarks for current and future processors. He is also the author of the books:
Multicore Application Programming
Solaris Application Programming
The Developer's Edge
Free Download


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