[Haskell-cafe] ANNOUNCE: Sun Microsystems and Haskell.org joint project on OpenSPARC

Ben Lippmeier Ben.Lippmeier at anu.edu.au
Fri Jul 25 00:19:13 EDT 2008

On 25/07/2008, at 12:42 PM, Duncan Coutts wrote:

> Of course then it means we need to have enough work to do. Indeed we
> need quite a bit just to break even because each core is relatively
> stripped down without all the out-of-order execution etc.

I don't think that will hurt too much. The code that GHC emits is very  
regular and the basic blocks tend to be small. A good proportion of it  
is just for copying data between the stack and the heap. On the  
upside, it's all very clean and amenable to some simple peephole  
optimization / compile time reordering.

I remember someone telling me that one of the outcomes of the Itanium  
project was that they didn't get the (low level) compile-time  
optimizations to perform as well as they had hoped. The reasoning was  
that a highly speculative/out-of-order processor with all the  
trimmings had a lot more dynamic information about the state of the  
program, and could make decisions on the fly which were better than  
what you could ever get statically at compile time. -- does anyone  
have a reference for this?

Anyway, this problem is moot with GHC code. There's barely any  
instruction level parallelism to exploit anyway, but adding an extra  
hardware thread is just a `par` away.

To quote a talk from that paper earlier: "GHC programs turn an Athlon  
into a 486 with a high clock speed!"


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