Thursday, April 26, 2007

I conjecture that most multi-threaded general-purpose applications are, in fact, so full of concurrency bugs that as multi-core architectures become commonplace, these bugs will begin to show up as system failures.

--- Edward A. Lee, professor of computer science, UC Berkely, in "The Problem with Threads,"
Technical Report No. UCB/EECS-2006-1, January 10, 2006

He continues:

This scenario is bleak for computer vendors: their next generation of machines will become widely known as the ones on which many programs crash. These same computer vendors are advocating more multi-threaded programming, so that there is concurrency that can exploit the parallelism they would like to sell us. Intel, for example, has embarked on an active campaign to get leading computer science academic programs to put more emphasis on multi-threaded programming. If they are successful, and the next generation of programmers makes more intensive use of multithreading, then the next generation of computers will become nearly unusable.