Home > Computing, Opinions > Quickie – Machine language contractors

Quickie – Machine language contractors

So I’m not very familiar with how high performance software is coded, or who does the work, but it strikes me as a pretty good idea to speed up the underlying assembly code to take advantage of architecture improvements in stuff like Intel’s “Nehalem” and future chips, but more importantly, get more juice out of low power stuff like Intel Atoms, PowerVR SGX535s (The GPU in the iPhone, I think), and so on. Mainly improving instructions per clock cycle, which is one of the reasons the Pentium 4 at 3.73 Ghz is more likely to choke on Crysis than your nice shiny Core i5 at 2.33 Ghz. Apparently, there are a lot of rules governing the creation of efficient assembly code, which I’m not sure how well is done in various companies, but still.

Which brings me to my point – How about a company that works specifically on ensuring programs have good machine code in translation? Writing compilers that make better assembly optimization, tweaking low level routines to reduce pipeline bubbles, that kind of thing. You obviously don’t need assembly for your Python scripts to link the output of various tasks from program to program, but if you can get the output for transfer more efficiently, it’s like the programming language equivalent of sex, no?

Then again, if people already do this sort of thing on a regular basis, I salute them. Incidentally, I also salute the people who work on parallel computing, like the people at ATI and NVidia and the people who write GPGPU software, and the people who are slowly pushing CPUs to greater amounts of cores and writing for them.  Something to specialize in, I suppose.

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