The idea of a single – processor computer is fast becoming archaic and quaint. We now have to adjust our strategies when it comes to computing:

Introduction to Parallel Computing

• It is impossible to improve computer performance using a single processor. Such processor would consume unacceptable power. It is more practical to use many simple processors to attain the desired performance using perhaps thousands of such simple computers .

• As a result of the above observation, if an application is not running fast on a single – processor machine, it will run even slower on new machines unless it takes advantage of parallel processing.

• Programming tools that can detect parallelism in a given algorithm have
to be developed. An algorithm can show regular dependence among its variables or that dependence could be irregular. In either case, there is room for speeding up the algorithm execution provided that some subtasks can run concurrently while maintaining the correctness of execution can be

Seminar zu ausgewählten Themen der Informatik: Challenges in ...

• Optimizing future computer performance will hinge on good parallel programming at all levels: algorithms, program development, operating system, compiler, and hardware.

• The benefi ts of parallel computing need to take into consideration the number of processors being deployed as well as the communication overhead of processor – to – processor and processor – to – memory. Compute – bound problems are ones wherein potential speedup depends on the speed of execution of the algorithm by the processors. Communication – bound problems are ones wherein potential speedup depends on the speed of supplying the data to and extracting the data from the processors.

• Memory systems are still much slower than processors and their bandwidth is limited also to one word per read/write cycle.

7 Parallel Programming and Parallel Algorithms

• Scientists and engineers will no longer adapt their computing requirements to the available machines. Instead, there will be the practical possibility that they will adapt the computing hardware to solve their computing requirements.


This book is concerned with algorithms and the special – purpose hardware structures that execute them since software and hardware issues impact each other. Any software program ultimately runs and relies upon the underlying hardware support provided by the processor and the operating system. Therefore, we start this chapter with some defi nitions then move on to discuss some relevant design approaches and design constraints associated with this topic.

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