Programming a Parallel Future

joehellerstein1Things change fast in computer science, but odds are that they will change especially fast in the next few years. Much of this change centers on the shift toward parallel computing. In the short term, parallelism will take hold in massive datasets and analytics, but longer term, the shift to parallelism will impact all software, because most existing systems are ill-equipped to handle this new reality.
Like many changes in computer science, the rapid shift toward parallel computing is a function of technology trends in hardware. Most technology watchers are familiar with Moore’s Law, and the more general notion that computing performance doubles about every 18-24 months. This continues to hold for disk and RAM storage sizes, but a very different story has unfolded for CPUs in recent years, and it is changing the balance of power in computing — probably for good.
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