Life in the multicore fast lane -

Life in the multicore fast lane


Avoid becoming multicore roadkill: Attend Embedded Systems Conference Boston!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you already know that multicore processors have become ubiquitous in the IT world. What you may not know is that, more slowly and more quietly, multicore technology has been worming its way into the embedded world.

In some high-end embedded applications, multicore processors have been the norm for years, enabling higher performance than would otherwise be possible.

But even in many high-volume, cost-sensitive systems, multicore is already the norm. This is particularly true for demanding digital-signal-processing-based applications, where system developers often struggle to deliver supercomputer performance with ultra-low power consumption and cost. That no-frills cell phone hanging on your belt is likely powered by a multicore processing engine. Oh, you have the fancy smart-phone that plays videos and makes breakfast? Well, you can be sure that one is using a small army of processor cores.

The bottom line? If you're involved in the development of embedded systems, multicore processors are coming your way. They're bringing some exciting new capabilities, but (you guessed it) also some daunting challenges. How do you avoid becoming a roadkill on the multicore highway? Well, a good start would be attending the Multicore and Multithreaded Processors Track at the Embedded Systems Conference Boston.

We are fortunate to have a phenomenal line-up of sessions in this track. For example, MIT professor and Tilera co-founder Anant Agarwal's presentation, “Multicore Architectures and Programming Paradigms: Trends and Challenges” will help you understand the fundamental forces driving the trend towards multicore architectures, the key challenges faced by processor developers and users, and some of the innovative approaches being explored by designers today.

Another highlight of the track will be Intel software engineer Max Domeika's session, “Case Studies in Software Optimization for Multicore SMP.” Max, who is working on a book on the subject, will deliver the kind of real-world examples and practical know-how that is the hallmark of the conference.

These are just two of the many great sessions you'll find in the multicore track at ESC Boston 2007. Join us and jump-start your multicore know-how!

Jeff Bier is track chair of the Multicore & Multithreaded Processing track at Embedded Systems Conference, Boston. He is co-founder and president of BDTI (, a trusted resource for insight, analysis, and advice on signal processing technology. Jeff oversees BDTI's benchmarking and competitive analysis of chips, tools, and other technology and is a recognized industry expert, frequently presenting seminars on applications and technologies. He is the editor of BDTI's technology analysis reports, including Buyer's Guide to DSP Processors, now in its sixth edition and is also editor in chief and a frequent contributor on, an online newsletter dedicated to digital signal processing technology.

Register here for ESC Boston track classes. The conference will be held September 18 to 21 at the Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA. If you can't attend ESC Boston and are interested in these tracks, you can download track presentations for a fee from Embedded on Demand after the show.

Here's an overview of all the tracks at ESC Boston.

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