Introducing Multithreading

Two significant trends of the past decade have had an enormous effect on the field of software development. First, the continued decrease in the cost of performing computations is no longer driven by increases in clock speed and transistor density, as illustrated by Figure 19.1. Rather, the cost of computation is now falling because it has become economical to make hardware containing multiple CPUs.


FIGURE 19.1: Clock speeds over time

Second, computations now routinely involve enormous latency. Latency is, simply put, the amount of time required to obtain a desired result. There are two principal causes of latency. ...

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